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The fear of failure, being yourself, creativity and daring

The Pigeon That Couldn’t Dive

Alain Verster & Edward van de Vendel

Telemarcus cannot or dares not dive. One day, when all the young pigeons have to take a gruelling diving test to receive their diploma, he anxiously awaits his turn. Each of them has to dive down from the eaves, land next to the people below, pick up a crust or crumb and carry it back up again. One pigeon after another is awarded his diploma. As the painfully slow countdown continues, images of his earlier failures haunt Telemarcus.

And then it’s his turn. His mind empties, he flies up to the eaves and lets himself fall like a lump of lead. The spectators fear a fatal accident, but he lands on a table in the middle of a bowl of salad. The people take to their heels and Telemarcus continues sitting amidst the most delectable food on earth. All the pigeons join in the feast. This is the moment Telemarcus invents ‘salad falling’, a discipline practised to this day by pigeons the world over.

The illustrator transforms soberness into art

With his soft-hued illustrations incorporating old photographs, Alain Verster evokes a nostalgic atmosphere. The absence of colour heightens concentration on the prints without boredom setting in. And if you manage to look through this tranquil world, you’ll discover hidden jokes everywhere. A highly successful and amazingly illustrated book about the fear of failure.

A tender story offering a glimmer of hope for all the frightened little outsiders
De Leeswelp