Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pigeon and Pigeonette

Enchanted Lion Books
Dirk Derom; Illustrations by Sarah Verroken

I think this is a lovely book, although maybe just a tiny bit unusual. From the author's website "A delightful story about a beautiful friendship, Pigeon and Pigeonette is also about trial and error, believing in yourself, falling out of huge trees again and again, and never giving up. In other words, it's about the two coolest pigeons in the entire universe." Their summation is so beautifully worded and just the perfect introduction for such a wonderfully unique book.

When winter arrives, all the other birds have flown south for warmer weather except for the diminutive Pigeonette. Her tiny wings are too weak to support her, which makes flight impossible. As a result, Pigeonette is left feeling very lonely, scuffling along forlornly through the forest.

One morning Pigeonette is rudely awoken by a clatter in the trees above. She is faced with an enormous bird who is also having trouble flying, making great thwacking noises as he crashes through the branches. Pigeon's wings are large, but his eyes are dark, which makes navigation impossible. The two outcasts become friends and both dream of taking flight, soaring like eagles and reaching the clouds.

It occurs to the duo that they could form a flight team. Pigeon will handle the wing flapping while Pigeonette provides the verbal directions. Naturally, there are a few mishaps, but eventually their mission is successful. Relying on Pigeon's strong wings and Pigeonette's bright eyes, they can actually fly! When winter rears its ugly head, these birds are able to realize their dream of flying off together into the sky.

The illustrations are hand carved and hand printed. Isn't that amazing in this day and age? Even the font was carefully chosen to "reflect the clumsiness and learning process of our pigeon friends." Holding this book in your hands is like having a durable piece of art that you can share with your children. The illustrator herself personally watched over the printing of this book at a small family owned Belgian printer. Knowing all the thought and care that went into this book makes me love it that much more.

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