Emma's Emu


54 pages
ISBN 1-55041-524-7
DDC jC813'.54




Illustrations by Kim LaFave
Reviewed by Steve Pitt

Steve Pitt is a Toronto-based freelance writer and an award-winning journalist. He has written many young adult and children's books, including Day of the Flying Fox: The True Story of World War II Pilot Charley Fox.


Emma is a young girl who loves to enter contests, but she has never won
a prize. Finally, after two-and-a-half years of trying, she receives a
letter that says she has won a prize and that she can expect delivery
very soon. The next day a delivery van stops in front of her house, and
Emma waits breathlessly as a large crate is unloaded onto her front
lawn. When the crate falls open, a huge brown bird with a long snaky
neck and feather-duster legs steps out. Before Emma can stop to think,
the bird marches into the house and eats a vase full of flowers. Next,
the bizarre bird stretches out for a nap on her mother’s bed. Emma has
no idea what she is going to do with her new prize, but she knows one
thing—if she does not get this bird under control, she will never be
allowed to enter another contest.

Kenneth Oppel has won numerous books awards for his young-adult fantasy
novels. With Emma’s Emu he proves he has an equal talent for
light-hearted comedy. Aimed at emerging readers just starting chapter
books, Oppel’s fast-paced prose will definitely whet their appetites
for longer fiction. Kim LaFave’s hilarious black-ink sketches are a
terrific match for Oppel’s fine story. Highly recommended.


Oppel, Kenneth., “Emma's Emu,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 24, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/18477.