'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Review: Giraffes Can’t Dance

Title: Giraffes Can’t Dance

Author: Giles Andreae

Illustrator: Guy Parker-Rees

Publisher: Orchard

Format: Softcover

ISBN: 1-84121-565-1

For ages: 3-6 years

Type: picture and rhyme book

About: Our soft-back version of this book is dog-eared which in our household symbolises deep and abiding love. I was delighted to see that a smaller hardcover version of this beloved book has made its way into print. It’s destined to survive a great deal longer in our home!

This story is about a giraffe called Gerald who can’t dance. At least he can’t dance very well. As a result, he gets teased by the other animals. After a devastating encounter at the local 'Jungle Dance', he is laughed out of town.

With the guidance of a wise and gentle cricket, Gerald learns to listen to the sounds around him and to his own body, and is able to dance so well that the other animals are left in awe.

The message of this lovely rhyming tale is that it is okay to be different and dance to the beat of our own drum.

The book is delightfully illustrated with rhinos who rock and roll, lions tangoing, and baboons performing a Scottish reel. The humour appeals to adult and child alike.

The rhymes makes for easy reading and children will love and laugh at the pictures showing animals doing all manner of unusual things. As well as the message about being brave by doing brave things, the story is a wonderful tool for teaching about the damage prejudice can do.

- this review by Sarah Pietrzak Author website

Illustrator website

This book is available online