Published by Templar, 2018.
I love Duncan Beedie’s previous two picture books, The Bear who Stared and The Lumberjack’s Beard, and so I jumped at the chance to review The Last Chip. I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a beautiful book which encourages empathy and its touching ending made me cry.
Percy is a very hungry pigeon. His life on the streets is hard; it’s very difficult for him to find food. He’s either beaten to it by bigger, tougher pigeons; made unwelcome by greedy, territorial ducks; or chased away by a fearsome pirate seagull. Just as his exhaustion and hunger are about to overwhelm him, he is met with kindness and a heartwarming act of selfless generosity.
Despite the book’s serious themes of hunger and homelessness, there is humour and a lightness of touch in its telling. Duncan’s illustrations are a delight. Percy the pigeon is super cute (especially when he’s all fluffed up after shaking himself dry from the pond); the warm greens, pinks and purples of Duncan’s palette are stunning; and there’s lots to amuse you in the pictures: the puns and jokes in the beachfront scene (I loved how Big Bob could barely see over the counter!), the motif ‘Plop from Above’ on the back of gruff pigeon’s biker jacket, and the posh duck sporting a straw boater and a monocle, to name but a few.
The story is set in Duncan’s hometown of Bristol which, coincidentally, is where I went to university. It was lovely seeing the city’s landmarks and its familiar skyline recreated in picture book form.
I also love how 10% of the profits from UK book sales of The Last Chip will be donated to the Trussell Trust, an organisation that runs a network of over 425 food banks across the UK.
Touching and heartwarming, funny yet poignant – I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Suitable for children aged 2+
Thank you to Templar for sending me this book to review. I reviewed this book as part of The Last Chip blog tour where Duncan shared with me his step-by-step tips for drawing Percy the pigeon. Take a look and have a go at drawing Percy yourself by clicking on the link.