Recently I located the publisher Paw Prints Publishing and they sent me a copy of a title that is due in March 2024. This is not a review of that book, but a review of a picture book due in late April-early May 2024. First, I would like to point out it is never a good idea to look up when birds are around, but Fontaine the Pigeon Revolutionary does not care if you look up or down, he’s going to do that thing birds will do and it will hit you! Okay, actually he does care if you are looking down because he and the other pigeons are sad to see the people looking down at their phones all of the time. So in a drastic measure, Fontaine and friends (all the birds of the area) get together to get the people to look up, in Look Up!: Fontaine the Pigeon Starts a Revolution.
Britt Condolfi’s book is terribly artistic and actually a bit on the mature side. However, a child at least five and up should be okay with things. The story is simple, with the idea that people are looking at their phones too much and missing out on living. But they will also like the fact that poop is said and the birds poop. I was on the fence on this concept, as I have been the recipient of a stream, but hey, it is amusing. The illustrations of Amanda Romanick are fun, and could be the foundation for several types of stories. The rhyming aspect is a little awkward for my personal tastes, but works well with the idea. The solution might be a bit extreme, but the idea of a different kind of stream ON your phone and not “on your phone” is clever.
The best part for me was the illustrations. I found them to be adult and artistic. The pigeons are Easter egg colors and spots, and other decorations. They have funky outfits too, such as Fontaine has his funky floppy hat. The humans in one area had no real color other than red and that is to show the shock and panic. Therefore things are expressive and move the story along. Yet, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this should have been in an adult graphic novel and not a traditional picture book. I did read this via an online reader copy, so some things might have been lost, so a final copy reading is needed.