Nancy and Rover – one of my first pairs of pigeons








Pippa is a little pigeon with big blue-sky ambitions: to fly solo and explore the world beyond her nest. Her parents are less than thrilled with their risk-taking feathered fledgling and smother her with well-meant yet suffocating warnings until one day she ignores them all and takes the leap into the unknown…alone.

But how will she survive in this new uncharted territory with all its treacherous dangers and make it back home in time for tea? Join Pippa on her incredible adventure as she discovers home is where the heart is.

Pippa is a light-hearted adventure tale about striking out alone, following your dreams and desires and experiencing what it’s like when you get there. It is a tale that acknowledges the sometimes-suffocating affection parents have for their offspring, which can temper and frustrate a child’s sense of freedom and adventure, and suggests that it’s okay to take risks from time to time. Although the adventure may be perilous, it is still worth experiencing for you never know what glorious discoveries lie in ahead.

Pippa is small, determined, stubborn, and wilful, just like many other six-year-olds. And, like many youngsters who’ve wanted more than they can handle, when she finally does return to her flock, she realises that when it comes to true security and contentment, it’s family that matter most.

Pippa was inspired by my childhood memories of pigeon keeping. We had a loft in the backyard and kept up to 20 pigeons at a time. They were incredibly good parents and FAST breeders so we were never short of eggs or babies – called squeakers because of their constant excited squeaking for food whenever a parent was about.

Originally the Pippa in this story was a male bird, called Columbus* so named as a slightly humorous homage to one of our better-known historical explorers and risk takers, Christopher Columbus and his great (and sometimes misguided) yearning for adventure. Although she’s had a gender change, I hope the sense of adventure and daring still prevails in Pippa’s story.

*The scientific name for homing pigeon is Columba livia.

Andrew’s striking pictures ably capture all the joie de vivre and drama of Pippa’s solo flight, beautifully accentuating the sometimes misunderstood personality and unique traits of the homing pigeon. For more Fun Facts on this amazing bird, click on the image below.

Pigeon Fun Facts

Teachers’ Notes






Published: July 2019 (HB) February 2020 (PB
Illustrator: Andrew Plant
Publisher: Ford Street Publishing, $24.95
ISBN: 9781925804263 (HB)  9781925804270 (PB)
Format: Hardcover 32pp
Ideal for: 3 – 6 years