An ordinary city pigeon follows a little boy onto a subway train.
Pax is a small white boy with round glasses, bright green boots, a red lunch bag, and a backpack—and a pigeon friend whom he calls Blue and feeds daily with a bit of toast. When this morning Pax is “rushed along” by his mother (“Mom can’t be late”), the bird pursues them, down the steps to the subway and right into their car. Blue is definitely out of place. The bird’s look of surprise is a comical, extremely up-close, full-bleed double-page spread: “Uh oh.” It’s soon clear that affection for the pigeon is Pax’s alone—the other passengers’ flailing arms and alarmed cries of “Yuck!” “Shoo!” and “Ick!” amusingly reveal their feelings about the pigeon on the train. But Pax thinks quickly and helps Blue leave the train the next time the doors open. Reassuringly—as Blue is left alone on the empty platform—the text reads, “Pax knew / he would see Blue again tomorrow morning.” Richmond’s cartoon style keeps Pax and Blue at the front of the story with the bustle of the city as background. Pale yellow cabs with checker designs rush by on the streets, while a cross section of the subway station shows a variety of people (all white as the paper they’re printed on) and activities.
Nicely pitched to young readers’ empathies. (Picture book. 2-5)