Monday, January 8, 2018

The Emperor's Ostrich by Julie Berry - ESSENTIAL

Berry, Julie The Emperor’s Ostrich, 276 pgs. Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan) 2017. $16.99. Language: G (0 swears, 0 “f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: G.  

The young emperor of Camellion is selfish, and spoiled.  On the eve of his birthday - and just before the ceremony where he would receive all the power of the empire, he mysteriously disappears.  Meanwhile, young milkmaid Begonia has set off on foot to find her cow, Alfalfa who has wandered off.  She never seems to catch up - how fast is the cow travelling? But, she meets people along the way who help or hinder her search.    A ragtag jack-of-all-trades, who calls himself Key insists that Begonia is a damsel in distress and refuses to leave her until he has rescued her.  Well, the cow has fallen in love with an ostrich who belongs to Lumi, who is probably the emperor but he refuses to reveal any information about himself.  What started out as a search for a lost cow, is turning into a quest to save the kingdom.  

This is such a delightful story! It is a great mix of magic and adventure, where the characters use their heads (and their hearts) to find their way and get themselves out of messes.  The magic advances the plot nicely without taking over.  This was a great read!  


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