Gary by Leila Rudge (Walker Books)
HC RRP $24.99
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis
Racing pigeons are travellers. Gary is one of them, but he never travels because he can’t fly. He has to be content with collecting mementos, maps, tickets, and flight path and waypoint information to fill his scrapbook. He listens to the other pigeons discussing their journeys. He records this information perched in the loft, to experience a travelling life in absentia and dream he is part of it all.
Things change one day when Gary falls from his perch with his travel mementos into the travel basket. He ends up in the city, far away from home. Can clever Gary utilise his collection of maps, mementos and information to navigate his way back?
This is a terrific story about dreams and the longing for adventure. It shows how while we are longing to experience what others do, others are longing for an experience like ours.
The illustrations are outstanding. Intricate details add information to the story that isn’t covered by the text. Mixed media is used to create the drawings. Delightful and soothing soft colour shades carry us from cover to cover. The end papers and title pages share the reveals. I loved the whole package; adored gorgeous, clever Gary, and admired his innovative ideas.