Emu by Claire Saxby and illustrated by Graham Byrne is a stunning narrative nonfiction picture book. It has been shortlisted for this year's Children's Book Council of Australia Eve Pownall Award for Information Books.
Emu is a clever dual narrative. The nonfiction narrative of father emu and his chicks is presented in one font and the general information and facts about emus is presented in a different font. This sophisticated approach allows the reader to either focus purely on the narrative if they wish or they can read the story and the facts together.
The narrative follows the life of a family of emus. The father emu is responsible for raising his fledgling chicks. He patiently waits for his eggs to hatch, keeping them warm and protecting them from predators like the goanna. When they finally hatch he teaches his clutch of chicks all they need to know to survive in the Australian bush, from finding food and shelter, to how to zigzag sprint to safety when an eagle is overhead.
The illustrations by Graham Byrne are truly magnificent. Just look at those fabulous eyes of the emu on the front cover. The illustrations are full of gorgeous natural tones of the grasslands and eucalypt forest. The endpapers are also divine! For me when I open a picture book and I'm greeted with gorgeous endpapers, I know the rest of the books is going to be just as wonderful.
Emu is a wonderful addition to any child's library and ideal for children 5+ years.
Author: Claire Saxby
Illustrator: Graham Byrne
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Publication Date: 1 Aug 2014
Emu is part of Walker Book Australia's Nature Storybooks series.
After reading Emu by Claire Saxby and Graham Byrne, you might like to make some paper plate emus.
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