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BOOK REVIEW: Gary by Leila Rudge

| 19 January 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Gary by Leila Rudge

Walker Books
November 2017
Paperback, $16.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Picture Books / Adventure


Gary, a grounded racing pigeon, dreams of exploring the world—until the day he falls into an adventure of his very own.

Most of the time, Gary is just like the other racing pigeons, eating and sleeping and dreaming of adventure. There’s just one thing that separates him from the ordinary pigeons: he can’t fly. When his friends set off in their travel basket, Gary expects to stay at home, organizing his scrapbook of travel mementos and imagining far-off places. But when he accidentally falls into the travel basket and ends up a very long way from home, he discovers that flying might not be the only way to have adventures. Leila Rudge, in her gentle, colorful style, is sure to charm anyone who has ever felt like the odd one out with this satisfying story of perseverance and being comfortable in your own skin.



This is a gorgeous little story about not fitting in, about going on unplanned adventures, and about perseverance and determination.

After first reading this story, it might feel like there was a step or two missing along the way or areas that were drastically glossed over, while other areas are given quite a bit of attention. 

But it’s the kind of story that grows on you, and as the story sits with you, the positive and reassuring elements are more fully realised. The story supports those who are a little bit different, hints at the way you can bring your own particular skills to an otherwise stressful situation to make it work for you, and is a story that might have as much of a message for the grownups reading this as the kids who are yet to make their way in the world.

The illustrations are lovely and the story has a lot of heart, and it’s bound to be a great addition to the shelf and a good discussion starter.

Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

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