After one too many beers at lunch-time, Bluey Leyton, a wharfie with a larrikin streak, falls out of his straddle crane and staggers into heaven.
Bluey doesn’t quite fit in up there, so God calls him into his reading room and offers him the chance to return to earth as a pelican to compile a report on Climate Change, but there are conditions - Bluey is only allowed to talk to animals and birds during his six weeks back on earth.
Bluey’s special assignment leads to a raft of encounters as he journeys from Bribie Island off the Queensland coast down to the pristine Tarkine Rainforest in Tasmania, through the beautiful lands and waterways of the Australian east coast.
Along the way Bluey meets and falls in love with Bridgette, a pretty, azure-winged butterfly who used to be a prostitute at the top of Kings Cross in her first life.
He also meets old Tom Turtle who was the Past President of The Heavenly Writers’ Club after Billy Shakespeare stepped down.
Then there is Sepp, the sharp-eyed osprey who in his first life was a predatory stockbroker.
So has Bluey the smarts needed to prepare his report for God as he learns more and more about climate change from the very creatures it affects the most? Or will his new-found understanding overwhelm him?
Stephen Zemek is a writer who has spent a lot of time in small boats anchored up in quiet spots along the east coast of Australia.
At dusk, when pelicans flew serenely past the sun, it wasn’t hard for Stephen to believe the birds were sending him a message - but what?
Then, early one morning as a fishing triangle of seven pelicans floated past, he got the message. It’s written on the pages of A Pelican from Heaven.