Illustrated by Boris Artzybasheff
I have a confession to make: I don't like animal stories. I don't know why. I can't explain it. I just don't find them interesting. Of course, there are some animal stories just so well-written that even non-animal story lovers like myself enjoy them. :o)
In Gay-Neck: The Story of a Pigeon written by Dhan Gopal Mukerji and illustrated by Boris Artzybasheff (Dutton Juvenile; reprint edition, 1968), a very engaging narrator shares the daring adventures of his pigeon, Gay-Neck. Gay-Neck is a beautiful and talented pigeon ("soul of flight, pearl among pigeons"). I got swept up in Gay-Neck's escapades. He flies in the face of storms, gets into skirmishes with birds of prey, fights for leadership in the flock, participates in pigeon competitions, and becomes the glory of the Indian army in the first World War!
Gay-Neck is a great example of a book that is both educational and an interesting story. It satisfies children's curiosity about nature and demand for quality entertainment. In Gay-Neck, one learns much about birds - everything from how a pigeon learns to fly and how a swift builds its nest, to how eagles treat their young and how pheasants save themselves from danger. This book makes bird life fascinating, and sometimes Gay-Neck's ventures are downright GRIPPING. Highly recommended for children who love animals.
[I bought my own copy of Gay-Neck: The Story of a Pigeon.]
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