The Last Chip

The Last Chip

The Last Chip
Duncan Beedie

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781783700622

Percy is a little pigeon, and he's very hungry. Life on the streets is tough, and every time he tries to get hold of a scrap of food, bigger, beefier birds bat him away. He's about to give up when someone offers him her very last chip. A moving and uplifting story about struggle against adversity and the kindness of strangers. 10% of the profits from the sale of the book go to The Trussell Trust, supporting a network of 435 foodbanks across the UK.

Librarian's Book choice

Life on the streets is tough. Especially for a pint sized and peckish pigeon like Percy. Throughout this very enjoyable story, we follow Percy in his long struggle to find something, anything to eat. Wherever he goes, Percy can't hold his own and is bullied out of the food on offer.

The story builds on the idea of overcoming adversity and never giving up, no matter how weak and defeated you feel. It also shows the reader the importance of never underestimating the kindness of strangers with a heart warming ending. Duncan Beedie is an author and illustrator based in Bristol and it is easy to see that many of his illustrations are inspired by his home surroundings.

The train station is reminiscent of Bristol Temple Meads, the coloured buildings within the city can also be seen in Bristol itself and the pier is very similar to Weston Super Mare. Being from the area myself and teaching in a school nearby too, both the children and I had great fun making these links. It also linked in beautifully with our local area topic work and prompted many good discussions about what is in our area.

The story flows wonderfully throughout and the way Percy's energy levels begin to fade as the story moves on really help with the development of the story. It would have been easy for Duncan to have Percy fly effortlessly around the city but witnessing his struggle made the story even more compelling.

The language choices made by Duncan are great and paint a vivid picture in the reader's head, even without the accompanying illustrations. We enjoyed unpicking some of the verb choices such as 'buffeted' and 'plummeting' and looking for new and exciting adjectives and adverbs.

This book has much to offer and is an example of a text with a wonderful range of descriptive vocabulary, I would happily read this over and over again.

Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Kyle Matravers, teacher