Esmeralda's Nest

Written by Robert Moore. Published by MidnightSun Publishing. Published 2020

Each day Esmeralda collects a variety of objects and waddles down the hill. Everyone wonders why the Saddleback sow is carrying a bottle, fencing wire and a pair of trousers in her mouth. Only Esmeralda knows. Nothing will stop her.

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Esmeralda, the saddleback sow, is acting quite strangely. Each day, regardless of the weather she roots around the farm collecting a variety of objects that she takes back to deposit under the cattle ramp. What is causing this strange nest-building behaviour?

From the engaging endpapers that offer interesting information about pigs and piglets this is a charming story for young readers about a week in the life of a pig as she prepares to give birth. Like the farmer and his children, the reader wonders what Esmeralda is doing with all the treasure she is collecting but it all makes sense at the end. Young readers can learn the days of the week, and perhaps predict what the next day will be, what its weather will be because that changes daily, and what Esmeralda might find that day. And all the while the endless round of farm chores carries on in the pictures which are packed with detail for the sharp-eyed reader. City students can get a glimpse of rural life that they might be unaware of - particularly the role the children play!

For anyone teaching an introductory unit about farms and farming, this is a perfect accompaniment to exploring what is, to many, an unfamiliar environment with something new to explore on each page.

Barbara Braxton | Teacher Librarian, Cooma, NSW


Print out the pdf linked to the image of Esmeralda on the left.
What else has Esmeralda found and waddled off with?
Draw your idea and finish the sentence on the page. During our Book Week brainstorms students came up with some fabulous ideas! The dog's tennis ball, a hat, flowers, the farmers pyjamas... the ideas are only limited to your imagination!
Finally, colour her in. Enjoy!

The Endpapers are one of my favourite things to create in a picture book. They can have a life and tell a story of their own. I've created these ones with the help of my son (he wrote the words) in order for it to look like a child had written some notes on things they had learnt living on a farm. I remember when I was young and my Dad was a Stock Agent, he explained to me that black cows with white bands were called Belted Galloways but black pigs with white bands were called Saddleback pigs.
Why didn't they just call them Belted Galloway pigs or Saddleback cows? Make them the same?
I still don't know the answer to that question.

Click on the Youtube image left to watch the very entertaining Book Bubble promotional video generously put together by the CBCA SA Branch. I still think Esmeralda ran off with my paintbrush!