LONGLIST REVIEW: Pigeon PI

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Feathered friends are going missing all over town, but Murray – Private Investigator – is enjoying the quiet life. That is until a little bird tells arrives at his door at brings him a case he just can’t ignore…

Business had been slow for Pigeon P.I, ever since his partner Stanley had skipped town, but Pigeon wasn’t complaining. He was enjoying taking it easy. That was until the Kid showed up. She said she had arrived in town with friends looking for adventure but things had taken a turn for the worse.  She had a lucky escape but her friends did not and noone had seen them since. Although Pigeon did not want to take her case, the Kid was very convincing. He told her to come back the following day but she never returned. She was missing, just like the others.

The police were busy on a big case (which looked suspiciously doughnut-related) so Pigeon was going to have to take care of it alone. The sleuth had his ear to the ground – bad news travels fast – and rumour had it that there was a feather thief on the loose. Following the feathery clues, Pigeon soon found himself at the Red Herring Bar and Grill. He was into something but someone was on to him. Soon enough, Pigeon discovers what has happened to all of the missing feathered friends but will he be able to save them before it is too late? Will he be able to escape the clutches of the feather thief? And, will Pigeon unmask this criminal of the bird world?

The illustrations are filled with witty detail and are presented in a graphic novel style with comic book layout alongside full page illustrations and plenty of speech bubbles.  The story is told both through the comic strip sections with its speech bubbles as well as a narrative, which creates the inner voice of Pigeon P. I.  This inner monologue gives the book an absolutely authentic feel and is reminiscent of old detective/investigator films. From the start to finish, Meg’s illustrations are lively and colourful and dance across the page.  Even the endpapers and every inch of the cover, which are filled with illustrations, adds to the story.

Pigeon P. I. would be perfect for writing adverts and creating posters, thinking about how to relay important information in a succinct way that will make people stop and pay attention.  Throughout the story, there are also numerous points where children could write newspaper reports, interviewing the characters within the story for quotes and using information within the text as they report the facts of each event. In addition, children could use the sections of the story that are set out in a comic book style, changing the speech bubbles into direct speech, adding in detail to share the actions and descriptions of the characters and the scene with the reader.  This sort of activity is an engaging way for children to practice setting out and punctuating speech correctly, as well as developing the reporting clause and adding additional description to engage the reader and aid the flow of the story

This is a real treasure with a mixture of humour and mystery to keep the reader guessing. It is the perfect, light-hearted, fun story to share and will have both adults and children laughing out loud.

Pigeon P.I by Meg McLaren

Andersen Press     ISBN: 978-1783444830