EMUs and Friends

Maria Gianferrari’s Penny & Jelly: The School Show introduces readers to a girl and her dog and invites us to discover the talents and the bonds that the two share. The story was inspired by Maria’s own daughter, Anya, and the special relationship Anya shares with their family dog, Becca.


In celebration of the launch of Maria’s warm, funny, and beautifully illustrated (by Thyra Heder) new picture book, the EMUs have decided to share photos of their furred, feathered, and otherwise fancy friends. Sometimes our featured EMU’s  allow their beloved animals to take center stage, sometimes they have included a best friend in the photo, and sometimes your favorite EMU’s step in front of the camera in order to share the spotlight themselves!

From Christine Hayes:

Chris and Cotton“This is me, my mom, and our dog, Cotton, when I was about 9 or 10 years old. Our parents brought him home one day as a tiny, wiggly surprise. He was a mutt, totally untrained, constantly stealing food off the table and chewing up Barbies and digging under fences, but he was OUR mutt and we adored him! Cotton and I pretty much grew up together. I had three older siblings, and as they each turned 18 and left home I was so glad Cotton was there to keep me company. He never told any of my secrets, and he made an excellent pillow. He was a true best friend!”

From Jennifer Chambliss Bertman (Note Coco’s excellent taste in reading materials!):

DSC_0005“This is my furry pal Coco. She’s a dream companion for a writer: She makes sure I get up when my alarm goes off at 5am, she camps out in my office whenever I’m writing to provide company and moral support but not distraction, she curls up by my side when I sleep, and petting her super soft fur is the ultimate de-stresser.”

From Megan Morrison:

ari_lola“My furry friends are Lola and Ari. My husband and I adopted this sibling duo from a shelter back when we lived in Brooklyn, and they moved with us across the country when we came to live in Washington. Lola’s special talent can be seen in the photo: she is a ninja. This is how she used to look out the door of our Brooklyn apartment. She’s always been small, skittish, and quick to climb away. Her other special talent is treading on my hair when I am trying to sleep. Ari’s special talent is being a big giant enormous fluffy meowmonster. He loudly and plaintively meows us into submission each morning, begging for his breakfast. We do not know why he feels the need to do this, as his breakfast is 100% guaranteed. His other special talent is rolling over to show his tummy.”

From Tamara Ellis Smith:

Image“This is a photo of Willow, who is my friend Kara’s dog, and my son, Jafeth.  I run on the river trails with Willow (and Kara) 3 times a week.  So she is my running partner, and she is also a frequent guest at our house, whenever Kara goes away.  In this photo she is hanging with my son, Jafeth, who she adores.  She has the really sweet talent of putting her face about as close as is possible to yours, without ever touching it, and then looking straight into your eyes.  There is NO WAY you can not pet her when she does that.  She is also wicked fast on the trail (a good motivator!) and an excellent chicken chaser (not so fun for my chickens) and an overall excellent neighbor and friend. We love her.”

From Penny Parker Klostermann:
penny“Since we don’t have a pet right now, I borrowed Bentley. He is a standard poodle who belongs to my closest friend. Bentley’s special talent is his hair! He never has a bad hair day. It’s always perfectly cute.”

From Laurie Ann Thompson:

prim cropped 2“This is my assistant, Prim. I call her that because she stays right beside me while I write and lets me pet her whenever I need some inspiration. She doesn’t walk much (bad knees) and loves to sleep, so she is very, very good at butt-in-chair time and a most excellent cuddler. She was a foster dog that we just couldn’t give back, and I’m so glad she found her way to us!”

1502762_724408124314747_778560849781098030_oLindsey Lane shared this photo of her with her shadow, Sombra, who shares the top spot on Lindsey’s Facebook page by appearing in her profile photo!

There you have it: EMUs with their animal friends. None of which are, disappointingly, actual emus. I’d have liked to see that. Do you have an animal friend that holds a special place in your heart or has a unique talent? Let us know in the comments! If you do (or if you comment on any post this week) you’ll be entered to win a signed copy of Penny and Jelly: The School Show.

If you can’t wait a single moment longer than you have to in order to get a copy of the book (and who could blame you?) then click on over to pennyandjelly.com to purchase a copy. Or click on any of the links below!

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers Amazon.com Books-a-Million Barnes & Noble IndieBound Politics and Prose Powell's The Toadstool Bookshop
Also available as an eBook in several of these locations, and at iBooks and Kobo.


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13 responses to “EMUs and Friends

  1. tamaraellissmith

    Well, what’s not to love here? ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. mariagianferrari

    Such beautiful dogs and cats to have as cuddly writing companions! Ninja Lola is hilarious, Megan–she looks 2D in the photo!

    Thanks for the fun and furry post, Adam!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Lisa

    We love our Spice Cats family at my house! Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Paprika! So fun to see everyone’s furry friends!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ugh! I was so caught up in enjoying everyone else’s photos, I forgot to include mine! Nobody tell Sydney, my cat. She’s strategic and sometimes vengeful with her urination.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love seeing everybody with their fuzzy buddies. Look at all those snuggles just waiting to happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ahhh! Adorable! And exactly why Penny & Jelly are a total hit!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mariagianferrari

    Thanks, Penny!


  8. Thanks for sharing the love!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. mariagianferrari

    Thank you too for commenting, Linda!!


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