Dave Pigeon Written by Swapna Haddow and Illustrated by Sheena Dempsey

Dave Pigeon: How to Deal With Bad Cats and Keep (most of) Your Feathers!

A book by Swapna Haddow, it is a seriously funny, roll on the floor book aimed for KS2.

It is typed by Skipper (a pigeon) and tells the tale of Skipper and his mate Dave, trying to outwit a mean cat. They want to get the cat out of the house so they can live in harmony with the Human Lady and to do so, they come up with ludicrous plans.

The story is told from the viewpoint of a pigeon, and if a pigeon spoke human English, I think this is exactly how he would sound. Skipper addresses to us, the readers, ‘if you can read this, you obviously understand pigeons,’ which draws you into the book straight away. Alongside this,  many other aspects of the book are seriously witty.

The short chapters are filled with silly jokes, and the super talented illustrations by Sheena Dempsey adds heaps more humour to the story. I imagine new readers would find Dave Pigeon incredibly funny, accessible and easy to understand!

Suggested activities to do after reading this book:

  • The book ends on a cliff hanger, can pupils create their own plan to get Mean Cat back? Pupils can read aloud their plans, to a group or the whole class, using appropriate intonation and controlling the tone and volume so that the meaning is clear. Can you make the audience laugh?
  • Debate around bravery? What does this mean?  Discuss which character shows bravery and how do they do this?
  • Make some biscuits or go on a croissant heist! Get the children to really immerse themselves into the lives of pigeons! Write about your experience, creating your own pigeon character!
  • Create a missing cat poster for human lady! What features would the pupils include?
  • There are lots of activities that can be followed up as a result of this book but I think it is best used as a whole class reading book – you can create lots of discussion and debate about whether the plans in the book will work? and why?


Hussnara Choudhury





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