Emu and the Water Tree
Fremantle Press, 2012
5-8yrs, Lower Primary, Primary, Upper Primary
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- Bunuba / Punuba people (K5) (WA SE51-08)
- Environmental protection
- Palyku people (A55) (WA SF51-09)
- Pilbara area (WA SF50, SF51, SG50)
When Emu greedily drinks the pure water from Serpent’s tree, all of the surrounding rivers, creeks and waterholes are drained, and all of the animals are left thirsty in ‘Emu and the Water Tree’. Serpent lives in the tree and demands that Emu bring brightly coloured stones every day if he wants to continue drinking from the water tree. Running out of stones, Emu is tricked into sacrificing his golden feather to Serpent, rendering him unable to fly. Mourning the loss of his flight, Emu’s tears start the waters flowing again which saves the animals and leads to the discovery of Emu’s hidden talent. Half-page black-and-white monotone illustrations are scattered throughout this short chapter book.
This book is a research Initiative between Fremantle Press and School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia. The Waarda series is edited by Sally Morgan.
Gladys Milroy is a Palyku woman from the eastern Pilbara region of Western Australia. Gladys’ stories are inspired by her concern about the fragility of the environment, and threat to local bird and animal life. ‘Emu and the Water Tree’ (Fremantle Press, 2016) appears in the anthology, ‘Eagle, Crow and Emu: Bird Stories’ by Jill Milroy and Gladys Milroy. Tracey Gibbs is a contemporary printmaker from Perth, Western Australia. Sally Morgan belongs to the Palyku people from the eastern Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Series title: Waarda series for young readers
- Emu and the Water Tree, Waarda series for young readers, Teaching Notes, Fremantle Press https://www.fremantlepress.com.au/system/spree/files/attachments/000/000/577/original/EMU_AND_THE_WATER_TREE_TEACHING_NOTES_WEB.pdf?1429520763
- Eagle, Crow and Emu: Bird Stories, Sample Chapter, Fremantle Press https://www.fremantlepress.com.au/system/spree/files/attachments/000/002/556/original/eagle__crow_and_emu_SAMPLE_CHAPTER.pdf?1450073685
- ‘Emu and the Water Tree’, Review by Claire Saxby, Aussie Reviews https://aussiereviews.com/2012/06/emu-and-the-water-tree-by-gladys-milroy/
- Noisy by Nature, ABC Kids Listen, Bomping Emus. Suitable for 5-8yrs. Length: 8 mins. Radio program for children about desert sounds including emus https://www.abc.net.au/kidslisten/noisy-by-nature/bomping-emus/12212514