A Peacock Among Pigeons (2015), written by Tyler Curry and illustrated by Clarione Gutierrez, is about a peacock named Peter who is born into a kit of pigeons. He looks and acts different than the pigeons, so he just doesn’t fit in. The pigeons think everything about him is wrong!
Words like “flashy” and “flamboyant” are used to code his difference, subtly queering him. He eventually flies away and creates a chosen family with an eclectic group of birds including a “sassy” cardinal named Craig.
Peter eventually sees himself through knew eyes and is proud to be a peacock.
A Peacock Among Pigeons is an acceptable, although by no means exceptional book. The message of self-acceptance is likely to resonate with many gatekeepers who may not even pick-up on the subtle queer undertones.
This review is part of my “Snapshots of LGBTQ Kid Lit” project. I’m working on a book, The New Queer Children’s Literature: Exploring the Principles and Politics of LGBTQ* Children’s Picture Books, which is under contract with the University Press of Mississippi. Part of my research is identifying and interpreting English-language children’s picture books with LGBTQ* content published in the US and Canada between 1979 and 2019. Follow my blog to follow my journey!