Book Review: What about Giraffes?

Giraffes are wonderful creatures. Being the world’s tallest mammals, they have long slender necks and they can run as fast as 35 miles per hour. Their long necks help them to rummage for leaves in treetops. Their superior height is perfect for keeping a lookout for predators in the wild.

Last month, during my vacation, I drove on 70 Highway west to visit the Topeka Zoo. It was a pleasant and relaxing drive with beautiful scenery on both sides of the highway. Once I arrived at the zoo, the first animals that I saw were the African giraffes. How elegant the giraffes look among the trees!

Here are some of my favorite stories about giraffes that I would like to recommend.

The Short Giraffe by Neil Flory

Being a short giraffe can be very awkward, especially when all giraffes are tall, and people are expecting a giraffe to be sky-high. Bobo the baboon wants to take a picture of giraffes but Geri is so tiny. He wants out of this group photo-shoot, but his friends have an idea to make Geri appear taller in the photo. They even fill him up with helium but Geri just floats away!

Children will enjoy this hilarious story of a short giraffe trying to fit in with the group. This book has bright, colorful illustrations and ends with a satisfying twist.

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae

Giraffe is good with standing tall and reaching for food but he just can’t dance. When his village holds an annual party where animals gather and have a great time, Giraffe joins the crowd, but for some reason, his legs feel so clumsy. Giraffe finds a secluded place to hide his sadness and disappointment. Unexpectedly, he meets a new friend who cheers him up and helps him to become a great dancer.

Giraffes Can’t Dance has a wonderful message of encouragement for kids. With its eye-catching drawings, this rhyming story will capture young readers’ attention from start to finish.

When Elephant Met Giraffe by Paul Gude

This new picture book about friendship by Paul Gude is guaranteed to make children giggle. The book includes three mini stories: "The Water Hole," "Pretzels," and "The Bossy Pirate."

Elephant and Giraffe are best friends, who have opposite personalities. Elephant is messy. Giraffe is neat. Elephant is talkative, but Giraffe never talks at all. Elephant might not know how to clean, but he sure makes great-tasting pretzels. Giraffe always enjoys the snacks that Elephant makes!

I like the adorable cartoon illustrations in this book. Paul Gude is a cartoonist from Seattle, Washington.

As you visit a zoo this summer, don’t forget to drop by the giraffes’ exhibit and say “hi” to these gentle friends from Africa.

About the Author

Sukalaya Kenworthy is a youth associate at the Central Library. Sukalaya joined the Kansas City Public Library in September of 2005.

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