Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool, Primary
Author: Sheena Knowles
Illustrator: Rod Clement
Publisher: Angus and Robertson
Edward is an emu in the zoo. He is not satisfied with his lot and thinks it would be better if he were one of the other animals. At night he moves to different cages and tries to act like the animal he is with. He "becomes" a seal, lion, and snake before he figures out that being an emu is best. When he returns to his own enclosure, he finds a new emu there: Edwina. At first Edward is upset, but then he realizes that all is well.
This book is great on many levels. The art work is beautiful. The animals are easily identified, and the artist does a great job of getting the emu to adopt the poses or postures of the various animals. The drawings are large, showing only a portion of the animals, which works perfectly. The story line is very clever and helps children realize that it's best to be yourself. Edward comes to this conclusion through the very clever rhymes of the story. The cadence of the rhyming makes the book move quickly. When Edward discovers Edwina, the humor is perfect, especially for adults. It's a good book to talk about not listening to everyone else but trusting your own self.