The Emperor's Ostrich
A classic madcap romp of a fantasy adventure from the author of The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place.Young dairymaid Begonia has lost her cow, Alfalfa. So she has set off on a search across the countryside even though she has nothing but a magical map to guide her. Along the way she meets a mother and baby, a woodcutter, a very dirty young man, and an eight-foot ostrich.Meanwhile, the Emperor has gone missing from the royal palace in a most mysterious manner. Was it murder? Was it magic? It will take all of Begonia’s wits to save the empire and get Alfalfa home safely.

The Emperor's Ostrich Details

TitleThe Emperor's Ostrich
Author
FormatHardcover
ReleaseJul 18th, 2017
PublisherRoaring Brook Press
ISBN1596439580
ISBN-139781596439580
Number of pages224 pages
Rating
GenreFantasy, Childrens, Middle Grade, Animals, Fiction, Adventure

The Emperor's Ostrich Review

  • Sara
    June 23, 2017
    This book was so much fun! I'm not normally a fan of middle grade but the writing was done in a way that didn't feel dumbed down. The story itself was magical and fun and I loved it. I would highly recommended to anyone who really likes Ella Enchanted.
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  • Jessica
    January 10, 2017
    Such a fun adventure story! Julie calls it her love letter to Lloyd Alexander, and it certainly reminded me of Alexander, but also of Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli films, and a little bit of The Nightingale (the only Hans Christian Anderson story I can tolerate). But I did more than tolerate this: I loved it! I was really not expecting the twists and turns the story would take, or the fanciful characters, but I adored how they all came together in the end. This book has one of the best jailbreaks in Such a fun adventure story! Julie calls it her love letter to Lloyd Alexander, and it certainly reminded me of Alexander, but also of Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli films, and a little bit of The Nightingale (the only Hans Christian Anderson story I can tolerate). But I did more than tolerate this: I loved it! I was really not expecting the twists and turns the story would take, or the fanciful characters, but I adored how they all came together in the end. This book has one of the best jailbreaks in history, and also features the only case of cow-ostrich romance that I can think of! (Hey, before you get all judgy, I dare you to try and tell an angry ostrich that he cannot be with his beloved cow!)I swear, every one of Julie's books gets even more amazing. Just when you think she's hit the pinnacle of her talent, she finds a new level of awesome, so this book holds the current title of Julie's Best Book.
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  • Julie
    January 7, 2017
    Here it comes, my next little offering, for the young and the young at heart. I wrote this as a love letter to Lloyd Alexander. The idea emerged in a writing workshop conducted with elementary school students in Ashland, Massachusetts. I hope that you and they enjoy it. This middle grade adventure fantasy features a truly strange cast, but every one of them is dear to me. It's fun reading your reviews and thoughts so please do chime in.
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  • Alexa
    July 11, 2017
    While this book and I had a shaky start, it wound up being entertaining in the way fairytales are entertaining to me. It's out of this world over the top magical whimsical and fun to read, though it takes a little time to really get going.
  • PictureBookPlaydate
    July 27, 2017
    Thanks to the #kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book - all opinions are my own. This was an engaging, well-paced story that I really enjoyed. It starts off in the palace, where we meet the emperor's cupbearer's young second assistant, who is there to bring the emperor milk. The emperor, as it turns out, is a spoiled brat. By the end of the first chapter, both the emperor and an ostrich have gone missing (and we get the sense that something suspicious and/or magical is going on) Thanks to the #kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book - all opinions are my own. This was an engaging, well-paced story that I really enjoyed. It starts off in the palace, where we meet the emperor's cupbearer's young second assistant, who is there to bring the emperor milk. The emperor, as it turns out, is a spoiled brat. By the end of the first chapter, both the emperor and an ostrich have gone missing (and we get the sense that something suspicious and/or magical is going on). Meanwhile, we meet Begonia, the put-upon responsible daughter, sent off on a quest to retrieve a missing dairy cow. Along the way she meets up with Key (a boy) and other assorted characters who reappear later in the story. Eventually, Begonia and Key meet Lumi (the emperor, who has been enchanted and cannot say his name or the word "emperor"). Hijinks ensue though (of course) everything is eventually right in the end. This was fun to read. It took me a few chapters to really find my groove but once I did, I was hooked. I wanted to find out how this crazy cast of characters would all come together and work things out. I wanted to know who the bickering spirits were - after all, they instigated the events that we follow. And I wanted to know how the horrible emperor could redeem himself. I thought the writing was very well executed and the pacing was excellent. Finally, to fellow readers: pay attention to the chapter titles! I typically skim over them very quickly, but they really guide you through this story, so don't ignore them.
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  • Shoshana
    July 28, 2017
    Much more "younger middle-grade" than Berry's usual - this is sweet and funny, if perhaps lacking some of her usual wit and richness. But still very enjoyable, and great for younger readers, or as a read-aloud!
  • Kathy
    July 11, 2017
    A gentle adventure with lots of droll humor as the ostrich falls in love with the cow, the immortal ancestors squabble, the emperor is a whiny brat, and poor besieged practical Begonia has to put up with a boy insistent on rescuing her.
  • Angela
    July 6, 2017
    Fun and full of shenanigans
  • Ron Frampton
    July 6, 2017
    A book of magic and mayhem in this fantasy story.
  • Teresa Osgood
    July 22, 2017
    I love Julie Berry's books. They're all so different, but wonderful. An emperor and an ostrich, a milkmaid and a really fast cow, and a determined hero wanna-be are thrust together by a couple of meddling ancestors. Frustrating and beautifully-described adventures ensue. I can't describe the story, but it is fun and tense and inspiring, all at the same time.
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  • Chelle
    July 13, 2017
    A wide assortment of eccentric characters; a plot that seems straightforward until you start reading and realize that there's a lot more going on here than the search for the cow; a touch of magic; an ostrich and cow; and, at the end, redemption. A great summer read!
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  • My
    July 21, 2017
    This book was adorable
  • Pamela
    July 30, 2017
    Would make fun read-aloud.
  • Rachel
    April 5, 2017
    So delightful. Love the different points of view and how all the stories come together. So playful and fun.
  • Angie
    July 15, 2017
    Begonia has lost her cow Alfalfa. Alfalfa wondered off and seems to keep getting further and further ahead of Begonia. Along her journey Begonia is given a magical map by the Master Mapmaker, a pot of mustard from Madame Mustard-Maker and a bell and scarf from the Seller of Many Things. She also meets a young woman with a baby who gives her a hairpin and a woodcutter who gives her nothing. Then she meets Key, a young man far from home who is ready and willing to help a damsel in distress. Togeth Begonia has lost her cow Alfalfa. Alfalfa wondered off and seems to keep getting further and further ahead of Begonia. Along her journey Begonia is given a magical map by the Master Mapmaker, a pot of mustard from Madame Mustard-Maker and a bell and scarf from the Seller of Many Things. She also meets a young woman with a baby who gives her a hairpin and a woodcutter who gives her nothing. Then she meets Key, a young man far from home who is ready and willing to help a damsel in distress. Together Begonia and Key search for missing Alfalfa who they find with a strange man and an ostrich. It seems Alfalfa has fallen in love with the ostrich and won't be parted. The stranger, wearing silk pajamas and not seeming to know how to take care of himself, tries to convince Begonia and Key to help him. Then he is accused of kidnapping and killing the emperor and taken away to the dungeons. It is up to Begonia and Key to set things right.I don't know if there could be a more charming book out there. I adored Julie Berry's new book. It is so different from her others with a much more light-hearted tone. However, there is a lot going on and it all seems to tie together at the end. The missing Alfalfa is the heart of this story as all the characters come together around her. Everyone seems to learn a bit about themselves and the world around them on this quest to find a missing cow and a missing emperor. The best part might be the cow/ostrich romance never before seen in literature. It is a story filled with heart and romance and ancestor spirits and an emperor learning about his people and evil usurpers and families coming together. I would highly recommend it.I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.
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  • Misti
    July 17, 2017
    It all starts with a missing cow, a missing ostrich, and a missing emperor. Throw in an intrepid dairymaid, a lad in search of adventure, a sturdy woodcutter, a widow with a baby, a sleazy carnival owner, and many other quirky characters, and you have a funny and exciting tale for middle grade readers. I enjoyed listening to this audiobook, and think it would be a great choice for family road trip listening.
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  • Nicole
    July 23, 2017
    It was a funny and entertaining read with some good points about humility. The characters are funny and lovable, each having their own key roles in helping settle an argument between two spirits. Too think the empire was saved by the unforgettable, but silly love between an ostrich, and a cow.
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  • Andréa
    June 12, 2017
    Note: I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
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