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3.46  ·  Rating details ·  281 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Gary, a grounded racing pigeon, dreams of exploring the world—until the day he falls into an adventure of his very own.

Most of the time, Gary is just like the other racing pigeons, eating and sleeping and dreaming of adventure. There’s just one thing that separates him from the ordinary pigeons: he can’t fly. When his friends set off in their travel basket, Gary expects to
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published November 8th 2016 by Candlewick Press
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3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  281 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kids; Parents
Most of the time, Gary was just like the other racing pigeons.

He ate the same seeds.
Slept in the same loft.
And dreamed of adventure.

This is a cute little story. Gary is a racing pigeon who can't fly. When the pigeons are put in a basket and taken into the city on race day, Gary stays home and organizes his scrapbook. It's a scrapbook about traveling.

He had a collection of travel mementos from everywhere

Except Gary had never been anywhere. Because Gary couldn't fly.

When the racing pigeons return,
Ova - Excuse My Reading
Nice story and illustrations but I colours could have been a bit brighter.
It had potential, and I thought it would be quirky and enjoyable, but it felt like the middle of the story had been chopped out and left behind in the printing house. The book had a beginning and an end, but the interesting part — his journey home, how he managed it — was relegated to a two-page spread, when it would have done far better as the bulk of the book. The illustrations were engaging, but the story itself felt flat and lifeless. When he arrived home, my reaction was, "Wait, that's it?" ...more
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
A pigeon named Gary.
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved the artwork in this book, as well as the deeper theme behind the spirited racing pigeon who can't fly. That theme is that it doesn't matter if you're different or you can't do the same physical things your friends can. You're still capable of amazing things and of achieving things that set an example for others.

The writing is simple enough that slightly older children can attempt to read it on their own without too much frustration. Rudge has also done a good job of keeping both the wri
A cute, soft picture book about a pigeon, a racing pigeon. Though Gary won't do much flying, and I had to say I was definitely sad when we find out what is going on with Gary. At least he has a scrapbook (how does he even scrapbook, with his paws?) and he has his stories. From his friends, from what he heard around him. And then later his own journey when something happens, a scrapbooking accident so to say, and he has to use all his wits (and his scrapbook) to find the way back to his friends. ...more
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cute picture book with a story about a pigeon called Gary who loved to create a travel scrap book but was unable to fly yet embarks on a wondrous adventure.. recommended to young readers in kindy or year 1. Noted on the CBCA list of reads for kids - many thanks to Walker Books Publishers for sending me a review copy in exchange for my honest review. Blog to come soon!
Sarah Fairbairn
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Aimed at ages 3 & up, Gary is a beautiful story about a racing pigeon that cannot fly.

Gary longs to go on adventures like all the other racing pigeons. One day after an accident leaves Gary far away from home and all alone, he must figure out how to make his way home without flight. Gary doesn’t give up and ends up overcoming his non-flight issues using his intellect. In the end Gary ends up having an epic adventure, the adventure of his dreams.

I found this book easy to read out loud, with t
So I think I need to read this one to a group of students to take the pulse of this book. I didn't really get this one, but at the same time, there's also that feeling bubbling up inside that I'm missing the point and I need a group of kids to help me figure it out (like my 8th graders did with Shaun Tan's RULES OF SUMMER).
Sandy Brehl
Sch an original and clever story, with humor and heart.
Michael Earp
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Some days, I feel exactly like Gary.
A lovely picture book!
Jan 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The story lacked, but Gary was precious lol.
My dad races pigeons, so I was giggling the whole way through. Cute, but lacking.
Michelle Gray
Themes: travel, birds
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Gary has adventures in the city... we just don't get to see any of them. A cute concept that feels like it was edited til the story was missing.
Aug 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cute original story. The pictures are quaint. Did not expect the ending. My boys enjoyed it.
Megan Duggan
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a charming, humorous and affirming book about a racing pigeon called Gary who can’t fly. When the other racing pigeons go off on adventures, Gary has to stay home because he can’t fly. Instead, he listens intently to the stories recounted by the other pigeons and creates a scrap book of travel mementos. But one day something goes wrong. He finds himself lost in a strange city and has to find his own way home.

When I read this book aloud to a group of children (ages 5 – 8) they were immedi
Rebecca Light
Mar 05, 2019 added it
Shelves: rdng-350
Gary is a racing pigeon. The only problem is, he can't fly. So every day when the rest of the racing pigeons take off for their daily flight, Gary stays at home and works on his scrapbook of travel memories. Although, he's never actually been anywhere. Everything in his scrapbook is from listening to the stories of the other racing pigeons. Then, one night, Gary falls off of the pigeon coop and into the travel basket, which takes the pigeons to their starting place every morning. Gary wakes up b ...more
Read3r’z Re-Vu
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lovely picture book that’s wonderful to read to young children. This story is about a pigeon called Gary who spends most of his time eating and sleeping and dreaming of adventure because he’s the one pigeon who cannot fly. When his friends set off in their travel basket, Gary expects to stay at home, organizing his scrapbook of travel mementos and imagining far-off places but when he accidentally falls into the travel basket and ends up a very long way from home, he discovers that flying might ...more
Miss Jenny
Feb 25, 2018 rated it liked it
This review originally published on my website: Miss Jenny's Classroom

Meet Gary. Gary lives with a bunch of racing pigeons who get to see the world. However, when the other pigeons race Gary stays at home because he can’t fly. Instead he creates a scrapbook based on everything the other pigeons discuss when they get home. Then one day Gary falls into the basket…and has to find his way home.

How could the other pigeons not notice Gary was in the basket? And who in their right mind leaves the baske
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: realistic
Gary is a homing pigeon who cannot fly. Through listening to the adventurous tales of the other racing pigeons in the loft, Gary compiles a travel journal. When accidentally left at the starting point of race, Gary has to navigate home, without flying. Shortlisted for the CBCA 2017 Book of the Year: Early Childhood, this is a pleasant tale of determination and resilience. The illustrations are delight with the racing outfits of the birds, memorabilia for the journal and quirky and expressive ill ...more
A delightful tale of a pigeon that couldn't fly, Gary. Despite not being exactly like the other racing pigeons (in that he can't fly), Gary still has dreams of adventure and exploring the world and there comes a day when those dreams are realised.

Rudge's story book for children made for a nice way to end the day with my two-year-old. The story was short enough to hold her attention with enough of a plot that we could both enjoy the reading. The illustrations are beautiful and very appropriate fo
Jennifer Strong
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s, 2017
Gary is a pigeon who can't fly. He never gets to go with his buddies to race from the city back to their loft. He loves to hear of their travels however, and scrapbooks all about them. One day he accidentally goes with his fellow pigeons and must find his way home. Can he do so with just his scrapbook to help him navigate?

This is a cute and optimistic story! It shows that there's more than one way to do something. My only issue is that you don't actually see his journey home. It just skips righ
Kristin Nelson
Jul 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Why does Gary have a collection of travel mementos from everywhere if he's been nowhere? From his racing pigeon friends maybe? Except in the book, they merely discuss their flights and paths when they get home. They don't bring Gary souvenirs. The "solution" didn't make sense to me. And nothing much happens in the story.
Tracy Holland
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it
A pigeon, who is unable to fly, lives vicariously through the tales of the other pigeons. Writing memoirs of their travels, Gary longs to see the things that his companions have seen. He learns that he can see these things, only not through flying, through other forms of transportation.
Chris Miller
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Melissa T
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Never give up. Find your own way to do things!
Erica Flory
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Some major plot flaws. Nice pictures though.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the illustrations.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
I have a feeling that this book is about disabled people will fly under the radar of some kids.
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I was born in England and spent my first few years making mud pies with three sisters, two brothers and Jeni from number 15. Not long after completing an Illustration Degree at Bath Spa University, I jumped on a plane to Australia in search of the sunshine.

In 2009, I illustrated my first children’s book Duck for a Day, which was shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year Award - Younger Reader’s ca
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