Magic and mayhem abound in this middle-grade fantasy adventure from Julie Berry, 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:
“Cheeky commentary about class and feminism, giggle-inducing wordplay, and jokes about the ridiculousness of imperial overindulgence round out this story. Readers looking for easy laughs will find them here.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Berry (The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place) creates a lively, magic-laced folktale featuring a self-centered emperor, a dairymaid, a farmer boy with grand romantic ideals, and two very stubborn animals. . . . Whimsical details, including an enchanted map and a pot of mustard that changes flavor, will delight readers, and the nonstop action will keep them on the edge of their seats.” —Publishers Weekly
"This whimsical, rambling adventure also serves as a coming-of-age tale. . . . This novel is well written and well executed, with Berry's clear prose holding together a complicated plot and increasingly eccentric cast of characters. . . . Give to kids who enjoy a clever story and don't mind a strong dose of silliness, or to anyone who loves the idea of a cow who becomes besotted with an ostrich." —School Library Journal