On Our Shelves Now
An inspiring picture book that explores the true story of Cher Ami: a heroic messenger pigeon who saved the lives of soldiers during World War I.
In October 1918, during World War I, nearly seven hundred American soldiers were trapped behind enemy lines with no prospect of rescue. Allied troops did not have access to their location, and every attempt at communication provoked more casualties. Their only hope—to dispatch a trained messenger pigeon to reach help miles away.
This unforgettable story celebrates courage and determination in its most vulnerable form. Cher Ami was shot down during her mission yet managed to save many lives, proving her fearless flight was a remarkable one.
About the Author
Mélisande and Giselle Potter are a mother-and-daughter team who have created numerous books individually, but Cher Ami marks their first collaboration. Mélisande is the illustrator of Pizza for the Queen by Nancy Castaldo. In London where Mélisande lives, a perky little pigeon often perches on her thumb to eat scone crumbs at teatime. Her attachment to this friendly bird led to a curiosity about pigeons and the discovery of Cher Ami’s story. Giselle has illustrated over thirty books, including The Boy Who Loved Words, a Parents’ Choice Gold Award winner. Giselle lives in the Hudson Valley with her family and their recently adopted dog, Lottie, who was found in the woods. Giselle isn’t sure if they saved Lottie or if Lottie saved them, with her sweet, loving nature. She invites you to visit her at gisellepotter.com.
Praise for Cher Ami:
"Lovingly crafted…. The author creates a real sense of drama when Cher Ami performs her famous flight—an act made all the more suspenseful by the dynamic illustrations. An uplifting piece of history that children will love."—Booklist
"Young readers will cheer for Cher Ami, who, delightfully, was fitted with a tiny wooden leg and received the Croix de Guerre."—The Wall Street Journal
"A fresh tribute to the renowned avian wounded warrior…. A tale worth the telling."—Kirkus Reviews
"Mélisande Potter’s text is concise, dramatic, and compelling, entirely matched by Giselle Potter’s art—evocative watercolors that convey setting beautifully while always keeping the valiant pigeon center stage."
—The Horn Book
"First-time mother-daughter collaborators Mélisande and Giselle Potter recount the true story of a homing pigeon named Cher Ami in this WWI-focused picture book…. Presented in watercolor and ink with mottled brown wings and a luminescent throat, Cher Ami makes for a handsomely anthropomorphized heroine; her ordeal, as sympathetically captured by the creators, provides a bird’s-eye view of war’s realities."—Publishers Weekly
"Engaging watercolor and ink artwork that portrays Cher Ami at her valorous best will rivet the picture book audience, making this a useful Veterans Day centerpiece, when strict veracity might briefly take a backseat to a rousing war story."—BCCB
"Cher Ami is a war hero who also happens to be a pigeon. With thoughtful illustrations and sensitive text, this work offers younger students a glimpse of what life was like for soldiers in World War I and the dangers they faced in the trenches. For animal lovers or budding historians, this book is sure to be a hit with young readers."—School Library Journal
"Descriptive and precise…. There are few books for younger readers about this period in history, and by making the main character an animal, and deemphasizing the horrors of war, this book manages to make the subject palatable for this age range."—School Library Connection