Thursday, October 29, 2009

Review: Emily Books

Hi! My name is Esmé, and I am two and a HALF years old. I have one, two, three books to tell you about today!

They are about a little girl's relationship with Emily the Chickadee. Or "chickaree," as I would say it - that is a new word for me! Now "Emily" - that word I know - that's my cousin's name and one of my best friends' name, too!

The three books are Emily Waits for Her Family, Caring for Emily's Family, and Emily's New Home. They are written by Carol Zelaya and illustrated by Kristin Metcalf. The author was inspired by a chickadee right here in Oregon where I live! The stories are in easy-to-listen-to rhyme, and there are beautiful pictures of birds and flowers and berries on each page. The recommended reading level is ages 4-8.

Here's what Carol's site says about the books: "Meet Emily! She’s a Black-capped Chickadee and the star of Carol Zelaya’s three-book series, Emily the Chickadee. Told in gentle, rhyming verse, we follow a young girl, as she meets and becomes friends with Emily, and their lives intertwine. In the first book, Emily Waits For Her Family, the girl meets Emily and watches as she raises her nest of chicks. In the second, Caring For Emily’s Family, the girl helps Emily to care for her family, providing food and shelter. In the last book, Emily’s New Home, the girl must move and wonders if she will ever see Emily again. The next Spring brings a wonderful surprise; has Emily followed her?"

Emily is VERY cute. The first book is my favorite. It's the springtime book about Emily's eggs: one-two-three. And they become baby birdies: one-two-three. And then they fly out of the nest! And they say chirp chirp chirp!

The second book is about summer and taking care of birdies. And in the last book, the little girl is sad. She has to move, and it is winter and cold. But then spring comes and she is happy again! Because her birdie is here!

Mommy's Notes

These books are great fun to read! The illustrations are beautiful, the rhyming comes out well, and I love the subject matter.

Esmé LOVES the first one. She can listen to it over and over, and the rhyme with a little repetitive text is just right for her attention span.

Perhaps because of her age (younger than the recommended 4-8 years), she rushes me through the second book. There is very little mention of Emily in this book; it is more of a guide in caring for wild birds, though also written in sweet rhyme. I think it'll be fun to use this book in the future as a trigger for doing some of the bird-caring activities: putting out seeds, changing the bird bath, etc.

Esmé's attention perks back up in the last book, as she is consumed by the girl's sadness and then happiness when the bird shows up again.

(And let me mention that, while this last book isn't specifically about Christmas, it does go through the winter season and has a holly-and-snow-themed cover, so would be perfect for Christmas gift-giving or stocking stuffers!)

Each book has a "My Chickadee Log" in the back, and as we live in Oregon - home of many black-capped chickadees - I look forward to using the logs with Esmé and bringing the books to life that way.

This is a lovely series of books with a great nature lessons that I'd recommend for any children in the applicable age group.

For more information about the books, visit You can purchase them at

Thanks to Pump Up Your Book Promotion for the review copies of these books.
Now, we are definitely hanging on to our books, but if you're interested in a giveaway of the first book, check out Review From Here. Hurry, the winner will be announced October 31st!


Cheryl said...

Thanks for the great review of Carol's books. My little one loves them too. We usually have to read one every night.

Thakns for hosting Carol today!