Cher Ami: Based on the World War I Legend of the Fearless Pigeon

Little, Brown/Christy Ottaviano. May 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316335348.
Gr 1-4–Cher Ami is a war hero who also happens to be a pigeon. With thoughtful illustrations and sensitive text, this work offers younger students a glimpse of what life was like for soldiers in World War I and the dangers they faced in the trenches. It’s also a thorough history lesson, explaining the training methods for homing pigeons, entertaining readers with the mostly true story of a very brave pigeon, and the soldiers who loved her. With war as the backdrop, there is suspense that may be unsettling for some children, but students from about second grade on will adore the story of Cher Ami. The illustrations authentically convey the emotions of soldiers on the battlefield without being overly frightening. The author’s notes are as interesting as the story itself, so remind readers not to skip those.
VERDICT For animal lovers or budding historians, this book is sure to be a hit with young readers.

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