About the Book:
Title: Pigeon & Cat
Author/Illustrator: Edward Hemingway
Pub. Date: June 21, 2022
Beagles and Books is excited to share a review of Pigeon & Cat. Special thanks to Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media and the publisher, Little Brown and Company. for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Cat lives in a cardboard box in a vacant city lot. As Hemingway eloquently states, “the lot isn’t much, but it’s his home and his alone” and Cat cautiously sleeps with one eye open to protect his few belongings.
When Cat finds an egg on the ground, he takes super good care of it until hatches. Once Pigeon enters his life, Cat’s world is now forever changed. I love how Hemingway chose to have Pigeon communicate in emojis to Cat so kids can decipher what she is thinking. Once Pigeon perfects flying, she is eager to explore the city. Cat does not share her excitement.
A nervous Cat is relieved when Pigeon returns and she brings Cat a piece of red chalk, her first of many gifts. Inspired by Pigeon’s generosity, Cat’s creative juices start flowing bringing color and life to the once drab lot.
When Pigeon doesn’t return to the lot one afternoon, Cat has no choice. He must leave his home to find his best friend. He courageously searches high and low leaving chalk messages all over the city. Soon the city doesn’t feel scary anymore and Cat willingly befriends other strays in hopes of locating Pigeon. The two finally reunite in the now vibrant and bustling lot which Pigeon has opened to all the strays.
When I read aloud Pigeon & Cat to my kindergarten #classroombookaday class, the students were captivated by not only the artwork, but also the story. Hemingway’s hand painted artwork is full of depth and details. The kids connected with Cat immediately. They recognized that Cat was safe, but sad and lonely. When he met Pigeon, Cat’s attitude changed because he had a friend. The students’ faces showed their worry when Pigeon went missing, but their smiles returned and they collectively cheered when they reunited.
With themes of friendship, kindness, courage, creativity, and community, Pigeon & Cat is a must read picture book. I thought it was a great story to end the year, for this school year was truly the most challenging in my teaching career. Pigeon and Cat gave me hope. I love that book was accompanied by this note and a box of chalk encouraging readers to create their own happy messages.
After reading, we took the kids outside to draw things that make them happy. Many drew things they saw in the book which warmed my heart and filled me with hope. A beautiful memory to end this school year!
Want to learn more about the story behind the story? Check out this charming video on the backstory behind Pigeon & Cat:
Praise for Pigeon & Cat!
“A satisfying story exploring heart and home.” —The Horn Book
“A sweet tale celebrating the joys of both personal and communal togetherness.” —Kirkus Reviews
About the Author/Illustrator:
Edward Hemingway is the acclaimed creator of many popular books: Tough Cookie: A Christmas Story, Field Guide to the Grumpasaurus, and Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship. His writing and artwork have been published in the New York Times and GQ Magazine, among others. The youngest grandson of Ernest Hemingway, he lives in Bozeman, Montana. He invites you to visit him at edwardhemingway.com.