Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Review of Karana and a Paper Plate Emu

Karana: The story of Father Emu

Karana: The Story of the Father Emu by Uncle Joe Kirk with Greer Casey and illustrated by Sandi Harrold is a beautiful Australian Indigenous story about a father emu and the love he has for his chicks. He patiently waits a month on the nest for his eggs to hatch and when they do, he teaches his young chicks all they need to know to survive in the Australian bush.

These are my chicks. I love them a lot...
I will stay with them, no matter what!

This is a touching story exploring the important role of fathers in guiding their children and teaching them important life lessons as they journey towards adulthood. The lovely rhyming language make this book a pleasure to read aloud. An ideal book for Dads to read aloud to their children and would make a lovely Father's Day gift too.

Sandi's illustrations are playful and the rich earthy tones beautifully depict the Australian bush and the animals that live there. The little chicks are adorable with their big eyes.

Uncle Joe Kirk is a Wakka Wakka elder who is passionate about sharing his stories with future generations and educating children about Australian Aboriginal culture. The emu plays a significant part in the Wakka Wakka culture and symbolises a father figure who nurtures the whole family. 

Book Details:
Author: Uncle Joe Kirk with Greer Casey and Sandi Harrold
Illustrator: Sandi Harrold
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Publication Date: May 2014
ISBN: 9781743623138
RRP: $15.99

Paper plate emu

After reading Karana we made own paper plate emu. This was a lovely quick craft which didn't need much preparation. After rummaging through our useful box and I found:
  • a paper plate
  • brown crepe paper
  • black card
  • a googley eye
  • scissors
  • glue
All I did to set up this craft activity was cut the paper plate in half. You could cut a straight line if you wish but I cut little rounded shapes to give it a more feathery look.  From the left over piece of paper plate I fashioned a head too (sort of a circle with a pointy bit for the beak - all very technical of course). Then the kids set to work decorating the body and head by gluing on cut up pieces of the crepe paper. We then cut out three long lengths of black card for legs and neck, then attached them to the body and head. It's as simple as that.

We recently went to the National Zoo and Aquarium here in Canberra and we met a very friendly emu up close and personal. Isn't it a magnificent creature? I do love being able to match a picture book to our real life experiences.

An Emu

Disclosure: I was given a review copy of this book by the publisher. My opinions, as always, are my own.


  1. Hi, I am in Sydney. Looks like another great Australian book. i love how it's about fathers and children and adore your extra activity ideas. I will include it with my Olga the Brolga book review. Thanks

  2. This looks like a great story and one that would certainly be perfect for Father's Day. I adore your cute paper plate emu. Thank you so much for linking up with #kidsbookaweek

  3. Thanks for dropping by :) It's so nice to see picture books that focus on the part fathers play in their children's lives. Emus are such amazing creatures aren't they?

  4. Thank you! So glad I found your blog and stumbled upon your link up :)