Gary By Leila Rudge




Erin recently bought this book for her kids, purely and simply because she couldn’t resist buying a book about a pigeon named Gary. Who could, really?


Gary is, in many ways, just like all the other pigeons, but on race day, when the other pigeons get to go off on marvellous adventures, Gary is not like all the others. On race day, Gary stays home, because Gary can’t fly.

When the other pigeons come home in the evening, he listens carefully to all their tales, and he makes notes in his very own travel journal, but he has never actually been to any of the places they speak of.

Until one day, when he finds himself accidently going with the other pigeons as they set off to race.

What will Gary do? He can’t fly and he doesn’t know how to get home. Or does he?

Gary’s travel journal proves pretty useful and he ends up finding his own way to have marvellous adventures!

Why I love it:

Well, firstly, let me reiterate, this is a book about a pigeon called Gary. I think that’s enough reason to love it, but I also love it because the message is simple: we can all follow our dreams; we may just have different ways of achieving them.

Themes to discuss with your child:

  • Dreams and aspirations
  • Obstacles and hurdles
  • Acceptance
  • Differences
  • Resilience
  • Perseverance
  • Adventure
  • Friendship

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:
  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • Is this a book you want to read? Why/why not?
  • What kind of creature do you think Gary is?
  • What do you think is happening in the illustration on the cover? What is Gary doing?
  • Where is the cover illustration set?
  • What is Gary holding?
  • What does this tell you?
  • If you had a pigeon, what would you name it?
After reading:
  • Did you enjoy this story? Why/why not?
  • In what way was Gary like the other pigeons?
  • In what way was Gary different to the other pigeons?
  • How do you think Gary felt about not being able to fly?
  • Is there anything your friends can do that you wish you could do? Tell me about it.
  • What do you think was the main reason Gary wanted to be able to fly?
  • How did Gary react when he found himself lost in the city? What did he do?
  • What ended up happening for him?
  • What do you think is the main message of this book?


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