Percy the street-dwelling pigeon endures a pretty tough life. Constantly hungry, he has to get up early and work very hard to find enough to eat. Wherever he goes, the food scraps are snatched from under his beak by aggressive and uncaring birds. At the end of a long, tiring and fruitless day searching, when Percy is weak with hunger and at his lowest ebb, a rough sleeper shows true kindness when it is most needed and offers Percy their last chip. A perfect representation of the quote, ‘sometimes those who give the most are the ones with the least to give’.
Sharing this story with a child would be a good catalyst for a conversation about kindness and resilience. The Last Chip has important messages about the harmful effects of bullying and violence, and challenges negative stereotypes of homeless people and those in poverty.
This is a beautifully warm-hearted story which will leave readers rooting for and empathising with the delightful feathered protagonist. Duncan Beedie’s superb stylised illustrations take you on a visual journey from sunrise to sunset, with many lovely details to take in on the way.
10% of the profits from the sale of the book go to The Trussell Trust, supporting a network of 425 foodbanks across the UK.
The messages we found in this book:
- Being homeless, living in poverty and/or not having enough to eat is very tough. It is difficult to find enough energy to get through the day when you’re hungry.
- Sharing what you have with others is a good thing (even if you don’t have much to start with)
- There is still kindness in the world (but sometimes you have to look hard to find it).
- Percy is a very determined and resilient bird; he ploughs on through the day in his search for food despite feeling weak with hunger, frightened and lonely.
- The homeless person in the story shows true kindness to Percy, sharing what little they have with him.
- When things look at their most desolate, Percy finds a friend who cares about him.