The Last Chip is a picture book with substance. Duncan Beedie, also author of The Bear who Stared, has written and illustrated a heart warming book all about a pigeon named Percy.
Percy is a rather cute pigeon who Duncan Beedie explains is always hungry. Set in Bristol, Duncan Beedie’s home town, readers are informed that living on the streets is hard. Each day Percy has to search for his food. Sadly, other birds seem to get to food faster then him or manage to tackle their way to a tasty treat leaving Percy to keep looking for food.
Duncan Beedie introduces us to different birds within the story and since reading this I think both my eldest daughter and I are looking at birds a little differently now.
At one stage in the story Percy is hopeful that he may find food at the beach. Pictured below is a scene of the beach that is quite clearly a delight and rather comical. The names of the food stalls will give you a good chuckle.
Percy’s attempts on eating, fail each time. You really feel for Percy! Will he ever eat?
Little One, my 3 year old daughter, became quite expressive whilst sharing the story with me. She acknowledged that it can be so hard for pigeons and other birds and that Percy had to do so much exploring and flying just to find some food. I would have to agree but sometimes things seem to turn around when you least expect it…
Surrounded by commuters and after a day of not eating Percy accepts that today is a day he will not be eating however, someone also living on the streets helps him. Someone gives Percy their last chip. Percy is in disbelief and replies with “For ME?” He can’t quite believe that after the day he has had, his tummy is going to be greeted with food! He’s actually found a place on the street, that is safe, non abusive and the gentle voice isn’t of a bird but of human who too lives on the streets. It is such a touching moment and one that encouraged lots of discussion between Little One and I. What a lovely act of kindness.
Duncan Beedie has cleverly produced a picture book which is emotive, humorous and touching. He successfully informs young readers of the struggles whilst living on the streets but does so in a gentle way. The illustrations are brilliant and Duncan Beedie so brilliantly, captures Percy’s emotions and expressions. His faces of frustration, hunger, exhaustion and upset are all illustrated so well. Little One, my eldest daughter, really felt for Percy.
This is such a thought provoking book with themes of homelessness and hunger and 10% of UK profits from the sales of this book will go to The Trussell Trust that runs over 425 food banks across the UK.
My daughter and I really felt for Percy and we think this book should definitely be shared with your little readers too.
Thank you to publishers Templar books for sending us this book.