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Poems to SolveJuan Bobo and the PigThe Ancestor TreePaco and the WitchThose Calculating CrowsBilly and EmmaElizabeti's DollWho's In the HallMama ElizabetiA Safe Place Called HomeElizabeti's SchoolIt Rainded All Day That NightYou're Not My Real MotherAfrican American Read-AloudSky DancerscookbookGuess AgainphphDremaing_Up_cvr
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Billy and Emma
by Alice Mead, illustrated by Christy Hale
(Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2000)
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When a robber steals Emma, one of a pair of macaws from the zoo, her partner, Billy, sets out to find her with the help of some other birds.
awards • reviews
• American Booksellers' Pick of the List

Best friend macaws Billy and Emma share a cage at the zoo, performing tricks for the crowds, until a scary thief steals Emma in the night, and Billy is left alone. The zookeeper's search is unsuccessful, so Billy and friend Nancy the crow fly out to look for themselves. Nancy's pigeon acquaintances lead them to the apartment where Emma is held captive. She escapes, and everyone returns to the good life at the zoo. Later, the robber returns, but Billy and Emma are able to send out a warning signal so all ends happily. This is a good transitional picture book, with a simple, appealing animal story and language well-suited to beginning readers. Hale's bright, cartoonish watercolors emphasize the birds' beauty and personalities, as well as the delicious freedom of flight. A concluding note offers more facts about bird intelligence for young animal fans.—Gillian Engberg
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