Lessons of loyalty and friendship

By Michelle Cuevas
Farrar Straus Giroux, $15.99, 136 pages

What is life like from the top of an elephant? Young Pigeon Jones is about to find out! As a baby, Pigeon is abandoned by his parents. They worry that his ears are too big and that something terrible will happen to him. In fact, the exact opposite occurs. Pigeon is rescued and raised by Birch, a former circus elephant who dreams of creating beautiful paintings. The Masterwork of a Painting Elephant, by Michelle Cuevas, chronicles the story of the travels and adventures shared by this unlikely family. Illustrator Ed Young is a Caldecott award-winning artist and has also written many children’s books. His brush drawings give life and expression to Cuevas’ lovely characters. Pigeon narrates the story using his own voice. He is witty, clever, kind and up for anything. Children will immediately be drawn into the book. Part fable, part fantasy, the story is filled with lessons of loyalty and friendship. Birch is a caring father and does everything to make Pigeon feel wanted and loved. On Pigeon’s 10th birthday, they set out on a worldwide trip that teaches the dynamic duo many important lessons along the way. Treasure the message that families comes in all shapes, sizes, and species!

Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin

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