Book review: Dr. Coo and the Pigeon Protest, by Sarah Hampson, illustrated by Kass Reich

Hampson, Sarah. Dr. Coo and the Pigeon Protest. Illustrated by Kass Reich. Kids Can Press, 2018. Unpaged. $16.99. ISBN 9781771383615. Ages 4-8. P7Q6.

Dr. Archibald Coo (pigeon) and his pigeon friends feel unappreciated in the city. They are chased by old ladies with umbrellas, in danger from angry drivers, discouraged with spikes from perching on ledges, etc. They leave the city in protest of this treatment, and won’t return until people learn to appreciate them and their noble history. By the end of the story, an agreement has been reached- the pigeons won’t “splat” on cars and heads anymore, and people will be neighborly. The artwork is nice enough and has a soft quality.

VERDICT: I felt like it took too long to get to the protest aspect of the story, and of course, anyone with experience with pigeons and their “splat” will have mixed feelings about the agreement, in spite of the commendable attitude of cooperation.

June 2018 review by Carol Schramm.

Book review: Stop Feedin’ da Boids!, by James Sage, illustrated by Pierre Pratt

Sage, James. Stop Feedin’ da Boids! Illustrated by Pierre Pratt. Kids Can Press, 2017. $16.95. ISBN 9781771386135. Ages 5-6. P7Q7

Swanda, new to her Brooklyn neighborhood, causes a problem for her neighbors when she begins feeding a few pigeons. A few quickly become a lot, and she seeks advice from different people- a pest control officer, a zoo keeper, and an exotic bird fancier- but their advice isn’t helpful. The neighbors get together and talk and finally realize that the solution is that, “Swanda, you gotta stop feedin’ da boids!” Once that crisis is averted, Swanda moves on to a fascination with fish…

Verdict: The illustrations are colorful, stylized, and full of contrast and texture. I think they give a good sense of the multicultural, busy nature of Brooklyn life. Recommended as an additional purchase for public and preschool libraries.

January 2018 review by Carol Schramm.

Book review: Windows, by Julia Denos, illustrated by E.B. Goodale

Denos, Julia. Windows. Illus. by E.B. Goodale. Candlewick, 2017. $15.99. unp. ISBN 978-0-7636-9035-9. Ages 3-7. P9Q9

In her debut picture book, illustrator Goodale uses ink, watercolor, letterpress, and digital collage to lovingly celebrate neighborhoods of Somerville (MA) through view into lighted windows as the autumn day fades into dark. A child in a red hoodie walks a little white dog as the minimal text muses on the sights before the mother waves to the child and then curls up with the child to read a story.

Verdict: Although the promo material refers to the child as male, the androgynous appearance of the child and lack of gender pronouns does not specify, making the book accessible to both boys and girls, and a child walking a dog is unusual—and delightful—in a picture book. The quiet thoughtful look at the child’s neighborhood encourages imagination about one’s surroundings. A comforting read-aloud or good-night book about discovery.

December 2017 review by Nel Ward

Book review: How to Heal a Broken Wing, by Bob Graham

Graham, Bob. How to Heal a Broken Wing. Candlewick, 2017. $7.99. ISBN 9780763698416. Unpaged. Ages 4-7. P7 Q8

Sometimes we are so busy with our lives that we forget to look around and notice things. Will, a young child, is coming out of the subway when he notices a bird laying on the ground with a broken wing. Will takes the bird home and with the help of his family, cares for the bird until it is able to be released back into the world. The book starts out with muted tones, except for Will, who is in vibrant color. Bright colors surround Will as he picks up the bird. Some pages have two words, “with rest” and the pages show in boxes what the family is doing to care for the bird. On the next page it says, “with time” and at the top of the page, there are different stages of the moon, showing the passage of time. Very well illustrated to show all the families does to help the bird.

Verdict: I highly recommend this book about compassion for any library with young children. It is a simple book to read to young children about how they can care for others. It can also stimulate conversation on why did Will stop and help the bird when others didn’t? What are some things we can do to help others?

December 2017 review by Tami Harris