Grandmother’s Pigeon


By Louise Erdrich, Illustrated by Jim LeMarche

Hyperion Books for Children, 1996

As it turned out, Grandmother was a far more mysterious woman than any of us knew. It was common knowledge that she had trained kicking mules. We’d often heard how she had skied the Continental Divide. I was with her myself once when she turned back a vicious dog by planting herself firm in its path and staring into its eyes.

I have always been fond of books which start in media res. But let’s just cut to the chase, shall we? Erdrich rocks. This book — about a beloved, eccentric grandmother who disappears from home, leaving behind a mysterious stuffed pigeon and three eggs which begin to suddenly hatch — gracefully tackles a number of Important Issues: How Nature is Both Tough and Fragile; The Media Can Be Relentlessly Annoying (present-company accepted; I try to be quite conscientious when I report); The Impossible Can Indeed Be True; Sometimes The Life of A Few Is More Important Than The Lives of Many; and Kids Can Be More Courageous Than Grown-Ups. Are you intrigued? Well, like I said Erdirch rocks. This book is as satisfying as any of her adult works. And LaMarche’s illustrations are nothing short of breathtaking.

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