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Real Pigeons Fight Crime by Andrew McDonald, illustrated by Ben Wood

Title: Real Pigeons Fight Crime

A red cover with four pigeons under the words Real Pigeons Fight Crime. by Andrew McDonald.

Author: Andrew McDonald, illustrated by Ben Wood

Genre: Mystery

Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont

Published: 1st July 2018

Format: Paperback

Pages: 204

Price: $14.99

Synopsis: Ever wonder why pigeons always act so weird? It’s because they’re out there chasing the bad guys and saving your butts!

Did you know your city is protected by a secret squad of crime-fighting pigeons? It’s true! With master of disguise Rock Pigeon, bendy Tumbler, strong Frillback and super-finder Homey, the REAL PIGEONS will solve any mystery and fight any bad guy to keep the city safe!

In Real Pigeons Fight Crime, Rock and his mystery-solving friends will tackle their first caseload: Why have all the breadcrumbs disappeared? Who on earth is kidnapping bats? And can the pigeons avert a dinner disaster??

  • Nickelodeon is developing an animated movie and TV series based on REAL PIGEONS FIGHT CRIME, to be produced by James Corden and Ben Winston!
  • With over 200,000 books in print and legions of fans worldwide, the REAL PIGEONS series is perfect for fans of Bad Guys and Dog Man.
  • Every book contains THREE hilarious, silly and engrossing mysteries!
  • Shortlisted for the 2019 Readings Children’s Book Prize and the 2019 & 2020 ABIA Book of the Year for Younger Children.
  • Longlisted for the 2019 ABDA Best Designed Children’s Series.


Have you ever wondered who the best spies and crime fighters are in the animal kingdom? Would you have thought a lion, or a monkey would be a good spy? Maybe even your pet dog. Perhaps not – lions roar and are large, monkeys can be cheeky and dogs – well, it would depend on the dog. No, a spy must blend in, become a Master of Disguise, and be able to hide in the worst places ever. And you thought our heroes from NCIS on stake outs had it bad – especially if you’re stuck in a car with DiNozzo!

A good animal spy it turns out is none other than a pigeon – and Real Pigeons band together to Fight Crime and stop evil bats and crows from hurting other animals and people. In three short stories that follow a main thread, Rock decides to leave his life on the farm after a visit from Grandpouter to join a crime fighting gang of pigeons. He joins bendy Tumbler, strong Frillback and super-finder Homey, and together, they will find out who has been forcing everyone other than crows out of the park, where all the bats have gone and stop an awful tragedy at the fair – but how far are their enemies willing to go? And why do Jungle Crow and Mega Bat want to defeat our fearless feathered warriors? Well, my fine furry friends, ahem readers, you’ll just have to read Real Pigeons Fight Crime to find out.

I came to this series after a recommendation from a friend and have just started reading them. They’re fun and whimsical, with lots of pictures, and simple text – but enough text for reluctant readers to cope, and confident readers and those somewhere in between to enjoy the story. The combination of text, illustrations and speech bubbles work well together to build on literacy and visual literacy for all reading levels and introduces kids to the crime and mystery genre in a fun, safe and accessible way.

Andrew McDonald’s humour and puns throughout the book work well in the story, and everything comes together across all three to create an ongoing narrative and fantastic characters that evoke a sense of fun and joy. Young readers and readers of junior fiction will enjoy this book and the subsequent ones that build on the previous stories – and I can’t wait to get to them and read them to find out what happens. Linking the books and each story within the books like this keeps the story and characters at a good pace and engaging for readers of all abilities and ages. I have most of the others – I still have two or three to get so I can read them in order and truly appreciate the story and characters – and all the bread and bird puns to come, if interactions with the author on Twitter are anything to go by. This series is wildly fun and popular, and I highly recommend it to help build on reading and literacy skills.

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