Cover image for The emperor's egg
The emperor's egg
Jenkins, Martin.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
29 pages : color illustrations ; 28 cm
Describes the parental behavior of Emperor penguins, focusing on how the male keeps the egg warm until it hatches and how the parents care for the chick after it is born.
Reading Level:
AD 570 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.1 0.5 36328.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.9 2 Quiz: 21899 Guided reading level: M.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Clearfield Library QL696.S473 J45 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Eggertsville-Snyder Library QL696.S473 J45 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Grand Island Library QL696.S473 J45 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library QL696.S473 J45 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
City of Tonawanda Library QL696.S473 J45 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Niagara Branch Library QL696.S473 J45 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Fabulous facts about nature's most devoted dad, in an utterly charming picture book. Can you imagine spending the winter outdoors in Antarctica without anything at all to eat? That's just what the male Emperor penguin does. While his mate is off swimming in the ocean and catching loads of fish, he stands around in the freezing cold with an egg on his feet for two whole months, keeping it warm and waiting for it to hatch. Welcome to the story of the world's most devoted dad!

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-6. After the female emperor penguin lays her egg, she leaves it in the feathers of her trustworthy mate, and for two months he protects it. This simple introduction to emperor penguins stresses the father's nurturing role, as he diligently guards the egg, while Mother is off "swimming about, getting as fat as she can eating as much as she can, and generally having a good time." The conversational narrative frequently addresses the reader: "I don't know about you but I'd be very, very miserable." Intended to extend the narrative while holding the attention of preschoolers, the informal tone can get annoying. With dominant blues and grays, the acrylic art captures the penguins' dignity and stolidity. The penguin chick is particularly winsome. Unfortunately for libraries, unusual information appears on the front endpapers, while the index is situated on the back ones. For children even younger than those who read Mizumura's Emperor Penguins (1969), this will supplement preschool science collections. --Linda Perkins

Publisher's Weekly Review

After Chapman (One Duck Stuck) lures readers with an irresistible cover image of a baby emperor penguin, the author documents the unusual role of the father in the birthing of this winning subject. Emperor penguins make their home in Antarctica, "the coldest, windiest place on Earth." During the region's chilliest season, a female penguin lays one egg and leaves her mate to incubate it; he rests the egg atop his feet, so that his feathery white belly keeps it toasty. "What's more, there's nothing for the father penguin to eat on land.... So that means two whole months with an egg on your feet and no dinner!" Chapman provides naturalistic acrylics of the frozen environment, against cold violet or warm orange backdrops. The blue-white ice and sky offset the charcoal feathers and buttercup-yellow breasts of the birds. Jenkins presents abundant penguin facts in the same conversational voice of Chameleons Are Cool but without the child narrator he used to such strong effect. Yet he achieves a similar tone, for instance, while speculating that the male penguin must be "very, very miserable" as it awaits the egg's hatching and the mother bird's return. Together with artwork that balances realistic details with the penguins' implicit charm, Jenkins's lively text will attract many readers to this tale of one of nature's unique parenting arrangements. Ages 5-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-Emperor penguin paternity is presented in a positive light in this genial picture book. After a female lays an egg in late autumn, her mate does his utmost to keep his offspring warm while she goes off to spend the winter feeding in the sea. He does not feed himself for two months-well after his hatchling arrives. After the chick hatches, the mother returns and both parents take turns looking after it. It is a true labor of love at the bottom of the world. The anthropomorphizing and Jenkins's repeated asides ("I don't know about you but I'd be VERY, VERY miserable" or "YUK, you may think. YUM, thinks the chick, and gobbles it all down") undermine the book's value as nonfiction. Type sizes change with the mood of the action. Factoids, written in small, italicized script, are interspersed throughout but do not interfere with the narrative flow. The endearing acrylic illustrations are largely naturalistic. Blue and purple backgrounds throughout convey a cold, even Antarctic, feel. Gail Gibbons's Penguins! (Holiday, 1998) covers much of the same material. Students who are wild about penguins and classrooms doing units on them will find The Emperor's Egg an action-packed read and an appealing choice to clue readers in on just how hard Emperor dads work. However, it isn't nonfiction in the true sense of the word.-Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-Martin Jenkins's delightful award-winning book about Emperor penguins (Candlewick, 1999) is read by a female narrator who embues the expressive and informative text with all the energy it deserves, while Jane Chapman's beautiful acrylic illustrations are scanned iconographically. Youngsters will smile at the adorable baby penguin, and giggle as the fathers belly-slide down a hill. The information is well-researched and expressed perfectly for the intended audience. Jenkins's added facts, which appear throughout the book in a different font, are reserved for a "Did You Know?" section at the end of the video where the author's original data is expounded on to provide a brief, yet complete overview of the life cycle of the Emperor penguin. Original background music, as well as some sound effects, enhance the text. This is non-fiction at its best-accessible, fascinating, and entertaining. Both children and adults will be enthralled. This title merits a place in all collections serving children.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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