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Grandmother's Pigeon Hardcover – April 15, 1996


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Books; 1st edition (April 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786801654
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786801657
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #529,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The mystical and the natural blend superbly in this first children's book by the accomplished literary novelist Louise Erdrich. The eccentric, well-traveled grandmother of two young kids decamps in mid-vacation, riding a porpoise to Greenland and leaving behind a trove of strange treasures and artifacts including a collection of bird's nests and three old eggs which hatch, marvelously, into passenger pigeons. Erdrich wields her Native American ancestry and her worldiness--Grandmother owns an original Klee--to give young readers a sense of the world's wonders and the wisdom of the elders, the old wisdom of the natural cycles that we are losing. A letter from Grandmother, promising to return, winds up this fetching tale. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

As in her fiction for adults (Love Medicine), Erdrich makes every word count in her bewitching debut children's story. Similarly, there is not a wasted stroke in LaMarche's (The Rainbabies; Carousel) evocative acrylic and colored-pencil art, which brings the characters' expressive faces and likable personalities into sharp focus. Because Grandmother had trained kicking mules and skied the Continental Divide, her two grandchildren have come to expect the unexpected. Even so, the adventurous woman surprises them and their parents when, parasol in hand, she sails away on the back of a porpoise, announcing, "I've always wanted to see Greenland!" Reluctantly cleaning out her room one year later, the subdued family discovers something mysterious among Grandmother's many treasures: a twig nest containing three eggs that hatch into birds of an extinct species. Erdrich's articulate, wide-eyed narrator, the missing woman's granddaughter, conveys a contagious sense of wonder and serenely invokes some breathtaking imagery; describing Grandmother's bird nest collection, she notes, "I liked the hummingbird's, no bigger than my little fingernail, created with stolen spiderwebs." Impeccably paired, text and art gracefully build to a conclusion that both reassures and startles. Magical from beginning to end. Ages 5-9.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Louise Erdrich is the author of twelve novels as well as volumes of poetry, children's books, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her debut novel, Love Medicine, won the National Book Critics Circle Award. The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her most recent novel, The Plague of Doves, a New York Times bestseller, received the highest praise from Philip Roth, who wrote, "Louise Erdrich's imaginative freedom has reached its zenith--The Plague of Doves is her dazzling masterpiece." Louise Erdrich lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore.

Customer Reviews

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It is a very sweet, charming story and I would imagine any child would enjoy reading this book.
Joe Sherry
Besides the copies of Grandmother's Pigeon I've given to children, there is one copy that will stay on my own bookshelf.
Deborah, Friend of Birds
I love this book for the satisfying feeling of gentle wonder that I feel as I turn the last page and close the book.
Terrie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joe Sherry on February 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
Louise Erdrich is the author of the award winning novels Love Medicine and The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse , amongst others. She is an incredibly gifted novelist. Grandmother's Pigeon is her first book for children.
I haven't read a book written specifically for children in well over a decade (Harry Potter and The Narnia series would be more for young adults and are suitable for adults on different levels), but Grandmother's Pigeon is a true children's book. It is only about 30 pages, half of which are illustrations. Like any good children's book, this one is mixed with the simple and the fantastic (perhaps all the more understandable considering Erdrich's American Indian heritage). The story is simple, a grandmother goes away on a trip and bird eggs are discovered in her room. When the eggs hatch, the birds turn out to be Passenger Pigeons (a long extinct species), three males. There is some commotion about the pigeons and finally they are released into the wild by the family. The fantastic comes in from the very start when Grandmother announces she is going to travel to Greenland on the back of a turtle and it is hinted the a stuffed animal toy pigeon may have been the cause of the mysterious eggs. It is a very sweet, charming story and I would imagine any child would enjoy reading this book.
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By Terrie on November 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
The illustrations in this book are wonderful and are a perfect compliment to this strange,comforting story of a loving family and the legacy of their magical grandmother. There are some subtle nuances that parents will pick up if they pay attention. This is a tale about ecology and love for free and wild creatures, with a bit of shamanism thrown in for good measure. There is humour here and wisdom. I love this book for the satisfying feeling of gentle wonder that I feel as I turn the last page and close the book. I recommend it to all with childish hearts.
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By Our Town Video on December 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Grandmother's Pigeon is one of the favorite books in "Grandma's" library. We have read it many times. Thank you very much.
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By Deborah, Friend of Birds on September 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book: an imaginative, fanciful, and unique story with beautiful illustrations. It culminates in a decision, one of sensitivity to the needs of living creatures. I consider it a gem of a book.

The importance of artwork in children's books should not be underestimated. Beautiful illustrations/photographs will pull my attention in to read the story. Unappealing or bad artwork gets a book passed over; perhaps a good story gets missed.

Besides the copies of Grandmother's Pigeon I've given to children, there is one copy that will stay on my own bookshelf.
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