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Edwina the Emu

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TEN little emus?! You've got to be kidding!

When Edward and Edwina Emu find themselves expecting ten little emus, Edwina tries her feathers at a variety of jobs to support the growing family, from chimney sweep to ballet dancer. 

Rhythmic, rhyming verse by Sheena Knowles and hilarious illustrations by Rod Clement make this an entertaining picture book that's perfect for reading aloud. This sequel to the popular Edward the Emu is an excellent choice to share in the classroom or at home—both adults and kids will laugh at and sympathize with the Emu family.

32 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1997

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Sheena Knowles

7 books9 followers

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5 stars
218 (42%)
4 stars
180 (34%)
3 stars
85 (16%)
2 stars
19 (3%)
1 star
13 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 65 reviews
Profile Image for PattyMacDotComma.
1,398 reviews802 followers
September 7, 2019
'YEEK! shouted Edward, he seemed to be choking.
'Ten little emus? You've got to be joking!'
'I'm not,'
said Edwina, 'but don't get depressed.'
I'll look for a job, you stay on the nest.'

YEEK, indeed! Ten little offspring at once would frighten anyone! I've not read the first book, Edward the Emu, but I have no doubt it's as attractive as this one.

Edwina starts looking for work.

She sees an ad for a dancer, "if you've got the legs", and she most certainly has legs! She braves the city and joins the seasoned (unsmiling) commuters. (Note the bus sign!)

The cover shows her trying out (unsuccessfully) for the ballet.

She has other YEEK! moments and attempts being a living chimney sweep. Finally, she tries serving in a restaurant.

That started off well, until the customer ordered EGGS!

"'YEEK!' said Edwina, she seemed to be choking.
'You want to eat EGGS? You've got to be joking.
'I'm not,
said the man, eating eggs is the best.
Once I ate ten of them straight from the nest.'

That does it. She takes herself home and tells Edward it's time she took her turn on the nest. Then, suddenly - ten little hatchlings appear!

After naming them all, we have one last YEEK! moment.

The story is fun and the pictures are just glorious!

Silly and cute and not typical of any emus where I live. Perhaps there are some artistic ones in the outback who attend the Adelaide Fringe Arts Festival!
Profile Image for AnnMaree Of Oz.
1,442 reviews25 followers
April 6, 2022
Sequel to Edward the Emu. Edward from book 1, now has a wife in Edwina, who has laid 10 little eggs. (Although if anyone knows Emu's their eggs are far from "little".)

Edwina leaves Edward to sit on the eggs, and goes out to try and find a job. Poor 'Dwina experiences a lot of negative reaction to her antics at trying to become a dancer, a chimney sweep, and a waitress.

Much like Edward in the first book, she discovers being herself back where she belongs is the best choice for her.
Profile Image for Kitty.
211 reviews80 followers
March 4, 2013
I'm really just confused about this whole thing. This book is a huge mess from start finish - and slightly offensive to boot.

So here we have two emus - Edward and Edwina. One day Edwina's like yo! Edward get it in gear because I just laid ten, count 'em, TEN EGGS. Edward starts to freak out, but Edwina's got in under control. Why? Because she's a woman on the fast track of life, that's why. Stay here and look after the eggs Edward, mamas gonna go out and get a job.

And so Edwina goes out and interviews for a wide variety of jobs, faithfully taking the bus to each one (how civic minded and eco friendly our feathered protagonist is!). But wait! No one will hire her. At each and every one people basically go "whoa! That's a bird! We can't hire a bird here! I don't even know what paper work we'd begin to fill out for that!" But Edwina never looses her cool, just shrugs it off and says that no worry, she'll find the JOB just for her. See what I did there? SHe specifies JOB each time.

The only problem is, she never does. Instead she comes back to the nest because, uh oh, wacky daddy can't handle being left alone with children and her place is obviously in the nest!

So what we're left with here is an aborted plot point about an emu on a city bus trying to find a job that ends in a bit of a back slap to feminism.

What is this book's target audience?
Profile Image for Tiffany Smith.
141 reviews10 followers
May 19, 2011
This is a remarkably funny children's book that will become an adult favorite. Although this book is intended for children ages 3 to 6, it will have must adults laughing. Edwina feels that she must get a job after laying ten new eggs. Her husband is terrified because he doesn't know how they are going to support ten emu chicks. Edward becomes a stay-at-home father while Edwina searches for the perfect job. This is a must read!
Profile Image for Susan.
2,291 reviews64 followers
September 20, 2015
This one totally did not work for me. It seemed that the entire point of the story was to teach children that a woman's place is in the home (no matter how hard she tries to do something else). There is nothing at all wrong with a mother or father choosing to stay home with her/his children. But there is definitely something wrong with a message that a woman ought to stay home even if there is something else she would also like to be doing with her life.
Profile Image for Bec.
634 reviews71 followers
September 6, 2013
Edwina and Edward suddenly have 10 eggs so Edwina decides she will go out and get a job - with hilarous results. Anothing rhyming treasure from Sheena Knowles. I read this to a group of "special" kids the other day and they loved it. It does have some tounge twisters so if your going to read it out loud you might want to practice it first.
16 reviews
June 24, 2013
Beautifully illustrated but the message is bizarre. Edwina, though energetic and talented, finds the only job society will allow her to have is that of Mother. So disappointing, especially after the delight of Edward the Emu.
Profile Image for Lisa.
862 reviews36 followers
November 29, 2016
Cute sequel to Edward the Emu, in which he and Edwina have had 10 little eggs! Edwina decides she needs a job to support their little ones, but has trouble finding the right job for her.
41 reviews
January 23, 2013
This is a great book for teaching/introducing vowel sounds and identifying long and short voewls. I read the book stop on a word say it, have the kids try to spell it on marker boards or at least write the vowel sound they hear. They love it and its a good quick assessment to see who is understanding the vowel concepts or not.
Profile Image for The Brothers.
4,118 reviews21 followers
January 27, 2016
Edwina and Edward Emu have 10 eggs. Edwina immediately feels the urge to go get a job so she can take care of the eggs properly, thusly leaving Edward to fend for himself and the eggs while she's gone. Every job she encounters isn't quite right, but Edwina is undaunted. In the end, Edwina realizes the perfect job for her is back with Edward and the eggs.

Lovely illustrations.
Profile Image for Keegan Taylor.
624 reviews34 followers
September 24, 2011
So delightful! My husband prefers this one of the two (its companion Edward the Emu). My favorite is the conclusion when you meet the ten little emus. What a delight! My husband didn't expect to like these as much as he did.
Profile Image for Larry Verstraete.
Author 23 books22 followers
April 30, 2015
A follow-up to Edward the Emu, this book has the same captivating rhyme and rhythm patterns, but the story line is a bit more forced. Still, a great book to read aloud to young ones.
Profile Image for Teri.
2,480 reviews23 followers
July 26, 2016
Fun--interesting to note that male emu's incubate the eggs and care for the young.
39 reviews
September 1, 2018
Edwina the Emu is a sequel to Edward the Emu. They meet in Edward the Emu and in Edwina, they have little babies. They are so proud, but need money to support their family. Edwina sets out to find a job. She tries to be a ballerina and a few other things, but each place kept rejecting her. She finally had to go back to the house to stay with her babies.

I thought this book was ok. Some people think that it is offensive and the message is wrong because no one will hire the woman bird and it teachers children that a woman's place is at the home. However, we read this in school and the teacher didn't portray it that way. They worked on predictions and other skills in second grade. I thought it was a good book to study predictions since there is a book before this one.

If I were to teach this lesson, I would take the same approach my teacher did. She read Edward the Emu first, and then made predictions on what Edwina would be about in a whole group setting. She wrote this on an anchor chart in the front of the classroom. They read the story whole group and then watched a read aloud video. We also, learned about Emus and some interesting facts. She wrote these facts on the board in a whole group setting. I would take this a step further and have them write about their emu in an informational writing and then try to draw one. They would need to "hook" the reader with statements like "did you know that emus..." and "have you ever heard of a bird that...". Then, they would write their facts on a paper and do their best to color an emu!
Profile Image for Avonlea Rose.
157 reviews23 followers
July 13, 2017
Not my cuppa tea. I suppose it is supposed to be funny, because an emu working as a chimney sweep might be a bit daft? But I was waiting for the drum roll at the end. It didn't entertain my daughter much either. I'm not sure, in fact, how children are expected to understand the "joke" of parents scrambling for jobs when they're expecting. That's rather adult humour, isn't it? And you end up with a rather convoluted message that's a bit hard to decipher: don't lady emus usually carry on and start up another nest after they've successfully laid eggs? Why is this emu different? The only intended message I can figure out seems rather inappropriate. Maybe the author just didn't really think this one through.
Profile Image for Christy.
Author 14 books51 followers
December 16, 2020
TEN little emus?! You've got to be kidding!

When Edward and Edwina Emu find themselves expecting ten little emus, Edwina tries her feathers at a variety of jobs to support the growing family, from chimney sweep to ballet dancer.

Rhythmic, rhyming verse by Sheena Knowles and hilarious illustrations by Rod Clement make this an entertaining picture book that's perfect for reading aloud. This sequel to the popular Edward the Emu is an excellent choice to share in the classroom or at home—both adults and kids will laugh at and sympathize with the Emu family.
199 reviews
April 25, 2021
UGH. Even as a stay-at-home-mom, I felt disappointed by the extra-clear message that Edwina is a failure at everything in life besides sitting on her nest and caring for babies. The worst part, though, was that when she comes back from her failed job interviews, her husband is an absolute wreck from...sitting on eggs. I mean, how hard can that be?! And yet, he's horrible at it and can't handle it because...he's male? Sigh.

I bought this book sight unseen because we love Edward the Emu so much. What a bummer.
September 20, 2021
I read the review and was sure that several people got this wrong until I read the book. What, are you kidding me? Is this 1950? No editor or publisher or agent caught this? It is both insulting to women and men. As if men cannot be highly talented and dedicated stay at home parents. I won't even mention the message given to women. Children of both genders should not be exposed to this book. It is not charming or cute. It is dangerous and I think the author must have an agenda. Ugly.
Profile Image for Anthony.
5,204 reviews24 followers
December 1, 2018
Edwina and her mate Edward are about to be parents of ten little emu's. Edwina convinces Edward to sit on the eggs while she goes out in search of a job. During her job search, she finds out a startling discovery, and she returns home to share the nesting duties with Edward until the eggs are hatched adding to their family.
Profile Image for Ardyth.
639 reviews50 followers
October 21, 2019
The moral of this story is that a woman's place is in the home, looking after children. Nobody wants her in any other job, she's not cut out for it and thinking she might be is ridiculous.

Three stars for artwork, minus 1000 stars for messaging.
19 reviews
March 14, 2020
This book had lots of rhythmic wording which will help young readers. The one thing about the book that seemed off was the ending. the mother emu never ended up getting a job, and the baby emu's were all hatched. It is a fun book to read due to the fact that an emu is looking for a job.
Profile Image for The Book Squirrel.
1,232 reviews15 followers
May 26, 2021
This book is a follow up to edward the emu, and the two should be read together. These stories are simply a lot of fun. The rhyme is lovely and can help early readers understand reading with the flow.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 65 reviews

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