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The Emperor's Egg: Read and Wonder Paperback – August 26, 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Can you imagine spending a freezing cold Antarctic winter outside, with no food for miles around--maybe even a hundred miles? This is what the male emperor penguin does. After his mate has laid her egg, she takes off for the ocean where she swims about, getting plump on squid and fish, while Papa stands around keeping the egg warm for two entire months! Martin Jenkins's remarkable picture book about an extraordinary bird is sure to be an immediate favorite with children of all ages. In a compelling example of truth being stranger than fiction, he tells the story of the unusual habits of this largest of the penguin family (there are 17 kinds!). Jenkins's enthusiastic fascination for this polar phenomenon comes through loud and clear in his changeable font sizes and humorous personal asides ("So that means two whole months with an egg on your feet and no dinner! Or breakfast or lunch or snacks. I don't know about you but I'd be very, very miserable.") Jane Chapman's fantastic, realistic illustrations of the penguins will make readers chuckle, just as they would at the zoo upon seeing the real thing. Don't miss this book--it's wonderful! (Ages 4 to 9) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

"The lively text and naturalistic acrylics of the frozen environment will attract many readers to this tale of one of nature's unique parenting arrangements, the emperor penguin," PW said. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 570L (What's this?)
  • Series: Read and Wonder
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (August 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763618713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763618711
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.1 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This nature book is wonderful as it tells of the story emperor penguin's unique habits at the kids level and in their language. At the same time there are little footnotes which answer most of the 'why' questions from the kids that arise out of the text. ( so parents appear all knowing) The illustrations are beautiful. My daughter was so enthusastic about this book the I wanted to pop on the plane to Edinburgh, Scotland and show my daughter the Emperor penguins in real life. ( I think Antartica in the middle of winter isn't an option). Nevermind, perhaps Jenkins and Chapman will write about the little blue penguins, which are in Boston, next.
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By A Customer on November 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
I collect books specifically about the emperor penguin breeding cycle. When I choose a book, I want the emperor penguin pictures to be fairly accurate (not cartoony or wacky) as well as beautiful, vivid, elegant, etc.. And I want the writing to reflect love for the story of these penguins.
I love this book.
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By A Customer on June 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
What a fabulous book! I laughed out loud ... and actually learned a thing or two about Emperor penguins. A great choice for Father's Day - shows the importance of dads in bringing up little ones (penguins, in this case), which is refreshing. Makes a great read aloud for one-on-one, or in group settings, with just the right language to keep preschoolers interested while teaching them about penguins.
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Format: Paperback
I purchased this book for my three year old after I took him to see "March of the Penguins." He loves it! It's a really great companion for this movie as it follows the story line almost exactly. For a long time he had to carry it around the house with him everywhere - even to bed at night. This book has great illustrations. It is a little "text heavy" for his attention span - but it's easy to just skip over some of the more "science -y" parts.
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Format: Paperback
I have a penguin-mad 4 yr old who can't understand why I can't go buy him the 'March of the Penguins' dvd yet. This book is a close substitute until that happens. It follows the movie pretty close without the munching and dying. He is pleased... for now. Very sweet and fun to read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It’s mom! She starts trumpeting “hello” and the father penguin starts trumpeting “hello” and the chick whistles. The racket goes on for hours, and it really does sound as if they’re extremely pleased to see each other.
~ The Emporer’s Egg

There’s something special about waddling penguins, newborn babies, and doting dads. Martin Jenkins, author of Chameleons Are Cool and Grandma Elephant’s in Charge, combines them to add another irresistible animal-centered picture book to the Read and Wonder series. Through Jenkins’ enthusiastic and conversational writing style young and old readers will fall in love with the biggest penguins in the world. Their unconventional, gentle, and efficient tag team-style cooperation toward making a family offer subliminal inspiration to us humans as we strive for a higher level of selflessness and commitment. Jane Chapman’s lifelike illustrations and Jenkins’ clever footnotes pull the story together for an authentic nonfiction experience. If you enjoyed National Geographic’s March of the Penguins, you’ll enjoy The Emporer’s Egg.

~ Anna
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Format: Paperback
The Emperor's Egg contains many facts about the Emperor penguin. However, I found it pretty sexist! I am usually intolerant of over-the-top feminist comments, but this book had one too many digs on the mother penguin for me! I realize that the male is the one who keeps the egg safe for 2 months, but the author mentions the mother eating, getting fat, and having a nice time after leaving the egg, with the father "stuck" taking care of it. He then refers to the egg as "his" egg, not "their" egg, and talks about how miserable the father must be without food and how cold it must be, while the female is off living the life. All of this is nature. The mother does not leave the egg because she does not care. She does her part, and then she comes back. The book is good, but I did not care for many of the adjectives the author chose or the overall tone of the book. If anyone reads this book to our son, maybe it should be my husband. I can hardly stand to.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Candlewick's press "Read and Wonder" series occupies a special place in our household: these books combine science with wonder, great, elaborate language with beautiful art, and cuddle time with many fun learning conversations.

We own about a half dozen of these books. The Emperor's Egg was the first one we bought, and like all the others, it's a treasure. The language is accessible to both my 2- and 4-year-olds. The stories draw them in, and are great starting points for conversations.

In one reading of this book, we discussed geography (the continent of Antartica, its climate and comparison to the our climates), biology (birds, and how penguins are abnormalities because the fathers sit on the eggs, and how penguins, kiwis and ostriches are all flightless, in contrast to other birds who fly), and mathematics (2 months, or 60 days without food: let's count: 1, 2, 3 ... 60!)

I highly recommend this entire series: it's rare to find a book that preschoolers request over and over, that parents love to read, and that teaches so much, in so little space, all while being just plain out beautiful to read and look at.
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