The Three Emus

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Sue Lawson (text),  Patricia Hopwood-Wade (illus.),  The Three Emus,  Bonnier Publishing,  1 Jan 2017,  unpaged, $19.99  (hbk),  ISBN: 9781760401092

The emu sisters live among the mulga and spinifex in the outback near Uluru. When Flick loses her precious shell, the three emus embark on a journey through Australia to try to find it. On the way, they visit the main attractions of each city, including the Salamanca markets in Hobart, Parliament House in Canberra and a theme park in the Gold Cost. They even stop for a picnic on Rottnest Island.

The water-colour illustrations are bright and busy, and the emus are portrayed as friendly, comical characters. The book does a wonderful job of capturing the uniquely Australian landscapes of the outback, city and beach scenes. Children will also enjoy the challenge of looking on each page for the backpacker the emus are following.

The text is engaging and fun to read aloud with much of the story told through dialogue. Some of the words are enlarged, initially seeming to focus on verbs such as ‘poke’, ‘prod’ and ‘peek’, but a variety of words continue to be highlighted, the purpose of which remains unclear.

The Three Emus is a wonderful Australian book that introduces children to the different cities in Australia and the icons found in each. Recommended for children 3-6 years old.

Reviewed by Rebecca Blakeney

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