Homing pigeon Homer and his parrot friend Lulu learn something is afoul when they witness four-legged criminals stealing valuables from both the animal and human communities. Using the sleuthing techniques he’s gathered from his favorite mystery comics, Homer and Lulu track down the bandits, but need human help to stop them for good. Can they find a way to communicate with their human keepers and lead them to the culprits’ hideout to stop the thieves? (From Peachtree Publishing Company)

MY TAKE: The 144 pages will appeal to not only those who enjoy a unique animal story but also new readers jumping up to the middle grade level of books.

Homer narrates the story. He lives with a boy, Otto, and his grandfather. They both are training Homer to be his best at flying home—it’s what homing pigeons do.

The mystery of the missing jewels and other assorted valuables from a local park is the heart of the plot. Homer can read but not speak to humans and Lulu the parrot has the ability to squawk out a few words. Together with their owners, Otto and Charlotte, they’re determined to “snap” this case shut.

A quick read with a surprising nemesis. Teachers and parents looking for a good read aloud will also be pleased.

BOOK BIRTHDAY: April 1, 2021


  1. A full page of black and white images begin each chapter. A great precursor to the scenes ahead.
  2. The unique characteristics of homing pigeons and parrots are built into the story line.
  3. Dick Tracy. I’d forgotten about this comic detective and most kids will have never heard of him. Homer uses the sleuth’s stories to learn about being a detective.
  4. The message that it often takes more than one to solve a problem.
  5. An animal story that’s not about dogs or cats. I enjoy those, too, but the birds made this one a nice change of pace.


Henry Cole is the illustrator of more than ninety books for children, including bestsellers such as The Leprechaun’s GoldLittle Bo, and Tango Makes Three, and Oink!, in addition to many of his own books, such as A Nest For Celeste and Jack’s Garden. He lives in Florida. You can visit  his website here.


I received an ARC for my honest review. Comments are welcome below.

To see other Marvelous Middle Grade reviews and features click here.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to HOMER ON THE CASE

  1. msyingling says:

    I love Cole’s illustrations, but bird books (along with pirates and circuses) are weirdly hard to sell in my library! I’ll have to take a look anyway.

  2. Kmsimps says:

    What a perfect idea for a story, and one featuring birds no less My son would enjoy this one. Thanks for letting us know about the book.

  3. Clever idea for a story. Sounds like there is a lot of fun wordplay in the story. Like the idea of an animal book that is different.

  4. Sounds interesting. Love the Dick Tracy angle. I just finished Socks by Beverly Cleary which is a from a cat’s POV! I am definitely intrigued by a homing pigeon’s POV.

  5. I love books that are transitional from picture books to middle grade. This one sounds like an unusual one, but fun. Thanks for the post.

  6. Completely Full Bookshelf says:

    What a fun story! Talking-animal stories do tend to be a lot of fun, and the short length would be great for a lot of young readers. Thanks for the great post!

  7. Pingback: Homer on the Case — Review – Rosi Hollinbeck

Place your thoughts here with a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.