Emo the Emu

Scholastic, 2015

About the book
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emo-the-emuOn the wild grassy plains west of Old Humpty Doo

Lived the moodiest, mopeyest, saddest emu,

Just why he was sad well he didn’t quite know,

But he was, so the other birds called him ‘Emo’

My newest picture book is Emo the Emu (Nov 2015), published by Scholastic and illustrated by the supremely talented Lucia Masciullo, an Italian illustrator who has turned her eye to her adopted homeland for this project.

I thought of the idea for Emo when I was on tour with Alison Lester, almost as her warm up guy, doing speaking jobs to big groups of school kids on the north coast of New South Wales. I always loved Alison’s Are We There Yet, as well as Mem Fox’s Possum Magic, and I thought we were overdue a funny, rhyming ballad of a book that visits every State of Australia.

Emo complains about everything in the first part of the book.:

I hate eating weeds he would say to his father,

I hate eating seeds, grasses, mango and guava

I hate the green tree frogs, the frilly necked lizards,

I hate a wild dog from its nose to its gizzards …

I hate living here at the top of Australia,

I’m Emo the Emu, the world’s biggest failure!

emo complains

But then he meets Katie the Kangaroo who suggests that he couldn’t possibly hate Australia, and asks whether he’s actually seen it.

So they embark upon a trip.

Syndey harbour

They journeyed to Sydney that city of lights,

That city that hums through the days and the nights

They sailed Sydney Harbour and boarded the ferry,

And Katy said, ‘Matey’ how extraordinary!’

Emo the Emu was hard to impress,

‘I s’pose it’s alright, yeah, it’s okay, I guess.’

Kids can guess which State will get which famous tourist landmark.

Will Emo cheer up?

Will they make it all the way around this great continent?

Will I win some sort of international poetry prize for rhyming ‘Angurugu’ with ‘kangaroo who’?

Emo the Emu is dedicated to my best friend, Chris Daffey, who died in December, 2013. He is forever missed.

 

dedication

 

“It doesn’t really matter where the exact origins of the term ‘emo’ originated, what matters is this spanking new picture book by Tony Wilson and Lucia Masciullo. Both creators have captured the essence of emo in this picture book adventure, Emo the Emu. Emo is one moody, despondent little emu dude so full of mope that he is unable to enjoy his inner emu and Old Humpty Doo where he resides with his extended flightless family. Wilson’s lilting rhyming verse personifies the creatures of our Aussie landscapes precisely while focusingEmo illos spread on Emo’s utter gloom. Masciullo’s watercolour illustrations are ridiculously true to country and fun. Her rendition of lanky-fringed, angst-ridden Emo is hilariously spot-on (worthy of eliciting dozens of teenage eye-rolls). Thankfully, cool Kanga Katie lightens the mood and saves Emo from himself. This will make an awesome gift-with-a-difference for overseas family and friends or for those with a hankering to see more of our great land. A beaut exploration of friendship, emotions, travel, and the great Aussie outdoors. Put it on your list! Scholastic Press November 2015” - Dimity Powell, Boomerang Books Blog 8/12/15 http://blog.boomerangbooks.com.au/stocking-stuffer-suggestions-6-dims-christmas-picks/2015/12
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  • Wilson’s lilting rhyming verse personifies the creatures of our Aussie landscapes precisely while focusing on Emo’s utter gloom. Masciullo’s watercolour illustrations are ridiculously true to country and fun.

    Dimity Powell, Boomerang Books Blog 8/12/15 http://blog.boomerangbooks.com.au/stocking-stuffer-suggestions-6-dims-christmas-picks/2015/12

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