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Illustrated by Graham Byrne



About the Book

Did you know it’s the emu father who protects the chicks? Follow a doting dad as he keeps his brood safe—from when they’re granite-green eggs until they’re all grown up.

In the open eucalyptus forest of Australia, an emu as tall as a human settles down on his nest to warm and protect the eggs left by his mate. When they hatch, the chicks will be ten times bigger than domestic chicken hatchlings and covered in chocolate-and-cream stripes to provide camouflage in the grasslands. This unusual family sticks together until the hatchlings grow up, facing dangers that include eagles and dingoes. Ornithologically inclined youngsters will delight in this visually striking chronicle full of fun emu facts.

Product Details

On sale: April 28, 2015
Age: 5-8 years
Grade: Grades K-3
Page count: 32 Pages
ISBN: 9780763674793

Author Bio

Claire Saxby is the author of many books for young readers, including Big Red Kangaroo. She lives in Australia.

Graham Byrne has worked as an electrical engineer, builder, and artist. Big Red Kangaroo by Claire Saxby was his first picture book. He lives in Australia.


A bit darker and edgier than standard picture-book illustrations of animals, the digital artwork is distinctive and handsome in its own way. A fine companion volume to Saxby and Byrne’s Big Red Kangaroo (2015).

Byrne’s spiky digital illustrations perfectly display the emus’ hairlike feathering and their awkward-looking flightless movement, along with the rough textures of the grasses and trees in the landscape.
—The Horn Book

Byrne’s exquisite digital artwork feature Emu and his brood in their grassland habitat.
—Literacy Daily

The handsome and eye-catching digital illustrations show how this unusual Australian bird spends its time. The description of the emu’s protective nature is found on one page and additional factual information on the facing page, making this an interesting selection for a science classroom library.
—Literacy Daily

Chock full of interesting information and facts about what a typical emu might experience in its day-to-day life, the book is full of thrills, chills, and a species that gives stay-at-home dads everywhere a true animal mascot.
—A Fuse #8 Production (blog)

A strong choice for the 590s.
—School Library Journal