Skip to main content

Gary by Leila Rudge




With her second authored and illustrated picture book, Leila Rudge proves that she has a true gift for telling stories about fitting in and standing out, an often overworked theme in picture books. With her debut, A Perfect Place for Ted, Rudge told the story of Ted, a "smart dog with his own sweater" who tries everything to get noticed, finally finding his perfect place as a friend to Dot, a girl with a house full of cats. With Gary, Rudge creates a racing pigeon who can't fly, like the rest of his flock, but has big dreams of travel.


Gary is just like the other birds in his flock, but on race day he stays home because he can't fly. But, he has a taste for adventure, a keen ear and a growing scrap book. Perched nearby, Gary listens as his flock-mates discuss wind direction, flight paths and waypoints the night before a race, recording all this in his scrapbook.



A series of mishaps leaves Gary stranded in the city, his flock mates flying off to race. But, Gary has his scrapbook with him and, as he tries to perk himself up by perusing his "collection of travel mementos," the city begins to feel a little more familiar to him and he feels a little less lost.



Gary makes his way home in time for dinner with "new travel mementos for his scrapbook. And the most adventurous adventure story. Gary couldn't fly, but he had been everywhere!" Just like Ted, Gary finds a way to stand out and be himself while also fitting in. Rudge's illustrations are absolutely superb - gentle in palette, a little like Gary and his story. Rudge's mixed-media illustrations are beautifully suited to Gary's scrapbook and the mementos and maps that are part of the story. And, with her soft pencil work, Rudge manages to make pigeons truly beautiful. Of course, Gary's knit cap adds to his charm!

Gary is a marvelous, wonderful picture book that is visually rich and inviting and Rudge's story of a character with physical differences who challenges the norm is a subtle and sweet addition to any book shelf and any family.

Source: Review Copy

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret) The Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!

Be…