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By: Buffy Silverman
Publisher: Lerner Classroom
Publication Date: January 2012
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: February 2012
If you quickly glanced at a picture of an emu, you just might say it’s an ostrich because the two birds do look a lot alike. They are both large, have long legs, feathers, and long necks. A closer look will point out some of the more subtle differences. The ostrich has “only a few fuzzy feathers” on top of its head and you can see its pink skin where there aren’t many feathers on its neck and legs. The emu has dark feathers on its head and they “blend in with grass and bushes.” If you check out their feet, the ostrich has two toes while the emu has three.
Adult male and female ostriches have different colored feathers. The male has black and white feathers and the female and her little ones have “gray or brown feathers [that] blend in with tall grass.” Adult emus have brown feathers, but their chicks are striped. Ostriches have BIG wings, but the Emu’s wings are very small. In this book you’ll also learn how ostriches and emus “talk,” how they make their nests, how many eggs they lay, who tends to the eggs, when the chicks leave the nest, where they live, what they eat, and you’ll learn many other interesting facts about these birds.
There are numerous high-interest photographs in this beginning nonfiction chapter book. Young readers will especially love looking at the baby chicks, including an ostrich chick emerging from its shell. Independent readers should be able to read this book with ease, but it would be a fun read and discuss book in the homeschool or classroom setting. There is a photographic “quiz” that students can work on independently. In the back of the book is an index, a glossary, some Fun Facts, and additional recommended book and website resources to explore.
Quill says: This is an interesting book about two look-alike birds, the ostrich and the emu.