Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Real Poop on Pigeons

The Real Poop on Pigeons

Kevin McCloskey
Nonfiction Graphic Novel
For ages 5 to 8
TOON Books, 2016   ISBN: 978-1935179931

Most people who live in cities, or who have visited cities, have seen the pigeons that always seem to live in these places. In large flocks they circle above tall buildings to land in parks and on sidewalks where they strut around looking for food. Most people don’t like pigeons. They make a mess by pooping on everything, they are “rats with wings!” and a nuisance.

A man is sitting in a park and shoos away some pigeons, telling the lady sitting next to him how much he dislikes pigeons. To his surprise a ‘flock’ of children in pigeon costumes appear, and they proceed to tell him all about pigeons.

The man and his companion learn about how pigeons carried the first airmail and that they can fly faster than a car. Before they adapted to city life, pigeons, or Rock Doves as they are really called, used to live on rocky cliffs, which explains why they like to raise they families on window ledges and other features on old buildings.

Pigeons mate for life, and over time people who breed these birds have created all kinds of pigeon varieties, some of which look very odd indeed!

Naturally, breeders and people who race pigeons become very fond of their birds, but they are not the only ones. Pablo Picasso, the famous artist, loved pigeons and he created lots of pictures of them.

As they explore this book young readers are going to love how Kevin McCloskey uses a comic book/graphic novel type format to tell us about an often maligned but actually quite remarkable bird species.