Dave Pigeon How to Deal with Bad Cats and Keep (most of) Your Feathers

Swapna Haddow (author) Sheena Dempsey (illustrator) Faber and Faber (publisher)

Cats beware!  This book contains two incredibly determined pigeons that are on a mission to save pigeonkind from a Mean Cat (and maybe find a biscuit or two along the way). 

Dave and Skipper are two pigeons who met during a routine croissant heist.  Disaster strikes when they are savagely attacked by a very Mean Cat (apparently, when you are a pigeon, danger lurks behind every picnic basket). Dave Pigeon is left injured and unable to fly.  The Human Lady – and owner of that dastardly Mean Cat – takes the two pigeons home so Dave can recover in her garden shed.  However, Dave has made a decision: he wants to have revenge on Mean Cat; he wants to live inside the house that smells of bready treasures with the lovely Human lady; and above all, he wants to eat the biscuits he spied in the kitchen, the ones with the jammy middle! To achieve this there is only one thing he can do – rid the world (or just the house) of Mean Cat!

Here begins a string of hilarious plans that are sure to have you laughing out loud.  Dave is convinced that every single one can not possibly fail (Skipper is not so sure).  Each one is expertly named by Dave, e.g. The Plan Where We Use Our Hardest Stares To Scare Away Mean Cat, but much to his surprise (Skipper is not so surprised) each one hits a snag along the way and the biscuits (especially those ones with the jam in the middle) remain out of reach. 

Will our feathered friends finally be victorious? 

Will they get that homely-biscuity future they have always dreamt of?

What could possibly go wrong?

This is Swampna Haddow’s debut children’s book and it is a real joy.  Perfect for young readers, it will have them in hysterics without resorting to ‘toilet humour.’  The text includes crazy chapter titles with cross-outs and speech bubbles for the little conversations the two pigeons have as they write the story.  Sheena Dempsey’s illustrations are incredibly fun and are sure to keep young readers hooked into the story.  I particularly enjoyed the hilarious double-page spreads that portray Dave’s plans as they unfold (or don’t… as the case may be).  Our heroic pigeons, Dave and Skipper, are given charming personalities through these illustrations.  The relationship that is built up between the two pigeons is just delightful: they argue and tease each other but always support and protect one another through even the most ridiculous mishap, mistake and blunder of Dave’s grand plan.

‘Dave Pigeon’ is a funny, action-packed story about friendship, bravery and being careful what you wish for.   It is ideal for readers of all ages and abilities across key stage 2; I know so many children who will be drawn to the illustrations, humour and quirky characters.  They will devour this book! I will definitely be getting a copy for the school library and I know our Reading Champions will love reviewing it.  I would be very happy to share ‘Dave the Pigeon’ with my Year 6 class during our daily story time – we love a good giggle!

So, are you Team Dave Pigeon or Team Mean Cat? Choose wisely…