Pigeon & Cat (Edward Hemingway)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Pigeon & Cat by Edward Hemingway, a heartwarming tale of emotional connection.

Cat lives alone in an empty lot in the big city, inside a cardboard box. He has a few essentials, and regularly scavenges for food in the trash bins when he’s hungry. He keeps one eye open when he sleeps, so that he can keep other strays from nosing around his empty lot. It isn’t much, but it’s Cat’s home, and he is fairly content with it. Until the day he finds an unbroken egg in a downed bird’s nest, out from which pecks a baby pigeon. Cat is immediately taken with the tiny bird, and expands his small existence to care for her. In turn, Pigeon cares for him by bringing treasures from around the city every day once she is strong enough to fly. That is, until the day that Pigeon fails to make it home before dark. Dreadfully worried, Cat doesn’t hesitate to leave the lot he’s always known to search for his missing friend… but will he find her in a city so big, and filled with so many strangers?

Touching. Hemingway uses approachable text, evocative art, and a unique gimmick (Pigeon speaks only in emoji “tweets”, something that young readers will undoubtably enjoy) to tackle a surprisingly layered story on emotional connection. Using the classic framework of a character separation narrative, Hemingway tackles surface themes of opening oneself up to others and making connections across languages and other barriers. Yet dig a little deeper, and more complex themes also come into play, including homelessness, poverty, community support, and even art as communication and therapy. It’s deft, engaging, and honestly quite beautiful. Hemingway populates his world with charming animal characters, and while the realities of being unhoused are certainly sanitized here, what’s striking is that the “strays” are never portrayed as pitiable or “less than” for their situation; they are, in fact, humanized (for lack of a better term), something rarely done in portrayals of the homeless in media. Otherwise, the length was great, and JJ and both really enjoyed this story of kindness and friendship. A sweet and affecting tale, and we loved it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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