Emu eggs hatch approximately 56 days from the time they land in the nest. I know this because I Googled “emu egg incubation time” a minute ago. Have you ever seen an emu egg? They are spectacular, blue-green, dragonish things. In my opinion, they’re way prettier than real dragon eggs. (Sorry, Dany.)
After an expectant lady emu lays a clutch of eggs, a gentleman emu—sometimes sire of said eggs, sometimes not—does the sitting. He faithfully turns the eggs too, 10-12 times a day for weeks and weeks. At long last, when he is about ready to perish of hunger, impossibly adorable, stripey chicks pop out of their shells and leap straight into his heart. The proud papa will dote on these chicks for the next year and a half, nurturing them and teaching them to be good emus.
<— Just look at this sweet face, those long legs, and that still-shelled butt… Entirely worth the wait, right? Right.
This brings me to my point. Presently, I am the Oldest Egg in the EMU’s Debuts nest.
If we’re going to be persnickety about metaphor, I guess my debut book is the egg, and I’m the egg-sitter, but let’s not quibble. Fact is, flocks and flocks have fledged and flitted, and I’m still sitting, turning, and awaiting my very own impossibly adorable nestling, BABYMOON.
I will now allow myself an extra-big picture of it, because I have been patient. Join me in gazing at Juana Martinez-Neal‘s tender, luminous, romantic cover illustration. Isn’t it dreamy? Sigh…
This particular EMU’s Debuts egg hatches on April 2, 2019, and like Mr. Emu, my real job as its nurturer begins then. I’ve had some time to think, and here’s my plan:
—I will do my best to dote on BABYMOON, to nurture it and teach it to be a good book.
—I will try to make sure it reaches growing families and those who care for and love them.
—With BABYMOON’s help, I will encourage the gentle, sensitive welcoming of tiny people into the world, and remind new parents to take time to rest together and fall in love as a family.
Until happy hatching day, I’ll stay cozily settled on the EMU’s Debuts’ nest, getting ready for my book to arrive and busier days to come.
I write for young people and live to make kids laugh. My picture book BABYMOON celebrates the birth of a new family and is coming from Candlewick Press. WHAT MISS MITCHELL SAW, a narrative nonfiction picture book illustrated by Diana Sudyka, is coming fall 2019 from Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane Books. GIRL VERSUS SQUIRREL, a funny STEM-based picture book, is illustrated by Renée Andriani and coming from Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House, summer 2020. I’m represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette.
Credits: Emu incubation info: ABC.net.au, Emu egg photo: Emu Ridge Eucalyptus and CraftGallery, Hatching emu photo: Corny Caleb on BackyardChickens.com, Emu skeleton photo: Wikipedia