Gary is the same as the other racing pigeons in his loft, but—he can’t fly. He dreams about experiencing adventure like his pigeons buddies, passes the time by collecting maps, timetables, postcards, travel tickets, and pastes them into his scrapbook. These are not his own mementos. One night, by accident, Gary falls into the travel basket and doesn’t recover until the morning. The basket is taken to the city. While his feathered friends fly towards home, Gary is left all alone. “Soon the other pigeons were dots in the distance…Gary wondered if he would ever find is way home. Or if he’d be lost in the city forever.” Luckily, Gary has his adventure scrapbook with him, and is able to make it home before supper, with his own mementos and stories to tell.
Birds fly—that’s what’s expected, that’s the norm. Isn’t it? Gary’s sweet story shows us that difference shouldn’t hold us back and that being ourselves, even if who we are challenges convention, is perfectly perfect. Difference can be inspiring, influential. Rudge’s collage-like, tactile, mixed-media illustrations correspond with the scrapbooking aspect of the story. Colours are soft and the ending is a delight.