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Emily Waits for Her Family: 01/18/09

There are many different factors that can make a book review difficult to write. A thirty-two page children's book about a chickadee and her nest should be straightforward. Unfortunately in the case of Emily Waits for Her Family by Carol Zelaya and illustrated by Kristin Metcalf, it isn't.

Let me start with what works. Kristin Metcalf's illustrations are realistic and charming. There's a real sense of a connection between the little girl and the chickadee she's named Emily. The individual stanzas of poetry work too. They're easy to read and teach about the life cycle of the chickadee.

There's just one problem, and I'm sure it's just with my copy: the pages are completely out of order and some are even duplicated. When I first started reading my review copy I thought maybe the early pages were inserted as a coming attraction for the story. Unfortunately though as the book continues, it becomes obvious that my copy suffered a severe printing and binding error.

I think the order of things should be: the name plate, the title, the copyright and dedication, the body of the story and then the author and illustrator bios. Instead, I have the name plate, some story, the copyright and dedication, more story, the author and illustrator bios, the rest of the story, and then the author and illustrator bios again.

The story is just as scrambled as the rest of the pages. It should start with the girl naming Emily, then the building of the nest in the flower box, the laying of the eggs, Emily watching the girl watering her flowers, the hatching of the eggs, Emily feeding caterpillars to her chicks, the empty nest and finally four new Chickadees flying in the garden with Emily. Unfortunately the pages are mixed up and duplicated. For all I know, I might be missing some.

From reading the reviews online, my book's problems seem to be an isolated case. Nonetheless, I can't give it a perfect review since I didn't have a perfect book to read. I can't read the copy I was sent to my children because it doesn't make sense in it's current form. If you're buying a copy make sure to check that the pages are all in order before giving it to your young loved ones.

Comments (2)

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Comment #1: Saturday, January, 24, 2009 at 11:26:42


Ouch! I've had a few review copies like that and I've wondered if I just got a bad copy or if there's a problem. This book sounds cute in theory though!

Comment #2: Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 13:28:24


My copy seems to be an isolated incident. I would have been nice to read a properly bound version of the book.

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