Percy is a small pigeon . Life is tough for him on the streets and he is always hungry so he moves from place to place, trying to find some food. However, wherever he goes, there always seems to be someone bigger who is selfish and not prepared to share. At last, ignored by all passers-by, little Percy huddles on the pavement, hungry and alone, when he is offered a chip - and friendship- from a stranger.
Carrying strong messages of kindness and compassion, 'The Last Chip' is a brilliant story. Bullied, homeless and hungry, Percy captures the heart of the reader and makes it very easy to discuss these issues, encouraging empathy.
The illustrations are wonderful and I'm sure Bristol is the city which inspired the one Percy flew over with its cathedral, brightly coloured houses and balloon drifting in the sky and the station where he searched for crumbs is Temple Meads. Each illustration is full of Duncan's humorous touches and little jokes.
I chose 'The Last Chip' for a Book Group session and the children were captivated by it. They loved Percy and were outraged at his treatment by the other birds, particularly the nasty seagull. They loved the picture of Percy all fluffed up as he dried off (comparisons with Paddington in the film were made!) and they enjoyed all the jokes in the pictures. When we had finished the story, they started to talk about homelessness and the need to share and be compassionate with no prompting from me - so well done, Mr B- your story generates very thoughtful conversations as well as giving pleasure.
Book Group then made pigeon (or seagull) puppets and re-told sections of the story, using them. We might have got a little carried away with the coloured feathers that were added, but there was a great deal of laughter so I don't think it mattered too much!
10% of the profits from the sale of each copy of this lovely book are going to The Trussell Trust which supports food banks across the UK, making this a brilliant book in more ways than one!
The Last Chip Duncan Beedie
Templar ISBN: 978-1783700622