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