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  • Writer's pictureSandy

Real Pigeons Peck Punches, by Andrew McDonald and Ben Wood

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

I like the Real Pigeons because they are funny and the stories keep me interested – I want to know how the crimes are solved! (Ari, 7).

I bet you always thought pigeons were calm mild-mannered birds that spent their days gently cooing and pecking for crumbs…but here’s the truth...

Real pigeons are actually part of a worldwide network of pigeons that fight crime!

Readers are launched immediately into the chaotic, colourful, crime-fighting world of the Real Pigeons Network. The pigeons are busy fighting bad guys and solving mysteries. A precious emerald has been taken – but by whom? Why are all the pigeons in the city disappearing? Why does the pigeon’s favourite tree suddenly disappear? Can they protect the rare kakapo bird before he gets eaten by the evil weasel?

So many questions, so many crimes to solve! But we are always confident that if anyone can do it, the real pigeons can. When they all work together they are capable of anything! We can all rest easy that we are in safe hands.

Ari (7) and I have read the other books in this series, but it is not necessary to have read them to enjoy this book as you will quickly be introduced to the main players and drawn into their antics. Ari and I agree that our favourite Real Pigeon is Rock – the master of disguise. I love how he always tries to be clean and has a pet twig called Trent.

I’m a big fan of the way these books end with the hint of the beginning of a new hurdle the pigeons will have to overcome in the next book, an enticing hook for young readers, who will be waiting with eager anticipation for the next book in the series!

Finding suitable books for this age level (6+) is not always easy – as they need to be engaging and feel manageable for newly independent readers to attempt to read aloud or to themselves. My boys are also a fan of books that contain plenty of humour. This book ticks all the boxes, with short chapters, large text font for easy reading, and plenty of illustrations to break up the text. The illustrations add humour and context to the story in a graphic-comic style and are an integral part of the story.

This is a light-hearted storyline with plenty of fun and adventure, but there are also deeper messages for young readers to take away with them – such as the importance of being kind to each other (even to your enemies), working as a team to achieve results, and the power of friendship.

There is plenty for adults to enjoy about these books too, with a scattering of bird-related puns and play on words (such as ‘birdmergency’) making these books a delight to read aloud. (I also love the use of alliteration in the book’s title!)

This story rolls along at a rollicking pace, and will elicit many laughs along the way. Be prepared to encounter dance parties, robot pigeons (Pigbots), a strange SwanSnake creature, and a rare dance-loving Kakapo bird.

We are even provided with a guide to using pigeon morse code, which we can utilise to decode messages from the Real Pigeons if the need should arise! You never know…

Read this book and discover just how coooo pigeons really are!

Published by: Hardie Grant Egmont Australia



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