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.
2019 NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge K-2 Booklist List Read full list, here.
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
Published Reviews & Interviews:
Meet Dimity Powell CBCA Reading Time Interview
Highly recommended. This is a tale that takes us visually, emotionally and lyrically to adventurous heights and places that touch the heart. The clever use of a ‘homing’ pigeon to link connections between it and children’s desires for independence and security demonstrates Powell’s astuteness in producing a story that will appeal universally to those in the preschool years. Illustrator Andrew Plant amplifies these messages of risk-taking, adversity and the ultimate, safety, in literally a most uplifting way. A highly relatable and reassuring book for children from age three and up. Romi Sharp ReadingTime
Highly recommended.This beautiful story resonates with the comfort offered by home, but also allows the small pigeon leeway enough to go out exploring for herself, albeit beset by predators. Everything about this book will intrigue and delight the readers, and they will go back as I did to look again at the way the text and images fit together creating a subtle cautionary tale about leaving home. Fran Knight ReadPlus
Nine out of ten stars! Pippa is a great picture book full of fun, adventure and tense moments that will keep you on your toes. The illustrations made the story come to life…A fantastic and entertaining book for ages 4 – 7. Zach V, Student at Tucker Road Primary School, Victoria
Pippa has in her what all young people have – the longing to spread their wings and discover what is beyond the boundaries of safety and seeming limitation. She reflects the fearlessness and invincibility that comes with youth. Andrew Plant’s illustrative ability never fails to impress. His immersive skills produce a brilliance that embraces the text and encompasses the entire book. Colour speaks loudly here..Dimity Powell’ delights in chasing and choosing the perfect words to deliver to the reader, the message she intends to convey. This is perhaps Powell’s best work yet, but is surely neck-to-neck with the SCBWI 2019 Crystal Kite Award Winner, At the End of Holyrood Lane. Anastasia Gonis Kids’ Book Review
This is a lovely story of family love and belonging, wanting to explore but also needing to be careful. The use of colour, viewpoint and perspective are very well done…a variety of framing techniques are also used to effect. The well written narrative flows nicely and would make a good read aloud for any occasion. Highly recommended. Liz Derouet Magpies Magazine
A tender tale about parents wanting to keep their children safe, this is a story that cuts through the middle of parental protection and childish curiosity. Dimity Powell has created a story that reflects both the parents’ perspective and that of Pippa – offering much to talk about as readers think about what they would like to do, whether they are ready and what they might learn as they try.This is a book that spans many age groups and there are excellent teaching notes which support this sort of use. Perfect for teaching about being prepared, being resilient and being able to overcome obstacles without panicking. Barbara Braxton The Bottom Shelf
A perfect book for parents and younger students to realize that kids need space to learn how to take risks, stretch their wings, and try new things, while having a safe place to flee to. It is a fun story to make parents and teachers think a little. And a great way to introduce a child to homing pigeons. Andrew’s colorful illustrations, at times adorably charming and at other times heart pounding, are so detailed and full of movement that they draw the reader into and through the story. Maria Marshall, #PPBF Blog
A story beautifully told and illustrated. Megan Stuart Bug In A Book
Pippa embraces change and navigates through adversity. Pippa’s actions will relate to children who are intent on doing their own thing. But the story also highlights the consequences of her actions and emphasises the importance of family in a fun uplifting way. Beautifully illustrated by Andrew Plant. Robert Vescio Children’s Author Blog