Pigeon P.I. by Meg McLaren

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Pigeon P.I. by Meg McLaren

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Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: There's a lot of attention to detail needed to get the most out of this book – which might help in disguising some minor (and not so minor) niggles.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 40 Date: March 2017
Publisher: Andersen Press
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781783444830

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The world of birds is in a flap. They're being nabbed – plucked from the air (or at least from their cages). Murray MacMurray, the brilliant pigeon private eye, doesn't want anything to do with crime now his old partner has flown the roost, but an eager and bright young thing might just about persuade him to take up the case. But both will have to be plucky to survive the dangers it leads to…

Which aren't many, let's face it – this is a picture book for the very young, or at least those in the last throws of having picture books as company. I would think it more likely to be the latter, for there can be quite a lot going on. Some of the spreads are higgledy-piggledy, and even when the main story has only five words on the page at times, there is always something else to read, something here to catch your eye, something there forcing you to go back a beat and look again. So this is not a completely straightforward experience.

And I didn't find it a completely winsome one. Picture books are a crowded market, and one really has to stand out. For you it might well be the likes of this, with the quirky beats and asides, such as Murray's new friend pestering him throughout a day full of pursuits such as playing Snap with friends, or the police birds and their own case (of donuts) that demands so much unnecessary text.

But while this is undoubtedly clever, and the fact you need to read things more than once gives you value for money, I didn't fall in love with either the format or, perhaps more importantly, the characters. Even if one is a bright and charming canary on the front cover, inside he's much smaller, and rather lacks the Aaaawww cutesy factor. I think this book would actually benefit from others like it, in that I would need there to be a full series of them for me to engage with the leads as much as the artist wanted.

I must still thank the publishers for my review copy.

There's a whole avian crime series for the slightly older audience that we got to grow to enjoy – the first was Chicken Mission: Danger in the Deep Dark Woods by Jennifer Gray. With this audience in mind, the author's own Life is Magic has received great acclaim.

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Buy Pigeon P.I. by Meg McLaren at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Pigeon P.I. by Meg McLaren at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Pigeon P.I. by Meg McLaren at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Pigeon P.I. by Meg McLaren at Amazon.com.


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