What happens when a pigeon who looks after all the visitors in the park finds himself in need? Help comes from a surprising source in a touching story of unexpected connection.
Hugo the pigeon has a very important job. He is a park warden: he tends to his small Parisian park and all the people who live around it. Hugo helps the park neighbors all year long: keeping Madame Grande company as she sits in the sun, discussing the news with Monsieur Occupé, entertaining little Bébé and Coquine so their mothers can take a rest, and flying from one apartment to the next during the winter to remind everyone that spring is coming. But one set of windows never opens for Hugo’s visits. Hugo knows that Somebody is there behind the curtains, but whoever they are, they hide whenever he knocks. What will it take for the mysterious Somebody to be coaxed out to enjoy the park—and perhaps make a few friends? Award-winning author Atinuke teams up with acclaimed illustrator Birgitta Sif for a charming, joyful story of friendship, bravery, and community.
About the Author
Atinuke is the author of many books for children, including three picture books illustrated by Angela Brooksbank: Baby Goes to Market, B Is for Baby,and Catch That Chicken! Born in Nigeria, Atinuke began her career as a traditional storyteller. She is the recipient of many awards, including a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor. Atinuke lives in Wales.
Birgitta Sif has illustrated a number of picture books, including The Tall Man and the Small Mouse, written by Mara Bergman, and Snowboy and the Last Tree Standing, written by Hiawyn Oram. She is also the author-illustrator of Frances Dean Who Loved to Dance and Dance and Oliver, which was short-listed for the Kate Greenaway medal. Birgitta Sif lives in Cambridge, England.
A pigeon named Hugo enjoys the job of looking after a park in a Francophone city. . . . In this role reversal, human characters are seen as creatures needing care and community. Atinuke’s engaging storytelling style works well in this picture book, giving Hugo a personality, voice, and purpose that young readers will latch onto. Soft-lined illustrations with gentle pastel colors use a well-paced mix of double-page spreads, full-page scenes, and small vignettes to capture a changing environment filled with diverse personalities. A layered, affecting story of friendship and community —Kirkus Reviews
Hugo, the dapper, attentive pigeon who stars in this story by Atinuke (Too Small Tola) is warden of a park in a city that feels like Paris. . . . Loosely sketched, atmospheric drawings of the park by Sif (My Big, Dumb, Invisible Dragon) are illuminated with brilliant rays of light. . . . In this character-driven tale, the draw is the relationship between open, personable Hugo and the way his need draws solitary Aimée out of isolation. —Publishers Weekly