If the cover doesn’t have your child squealing and giggling, it’s hard to say what might. Author Giles Andreae together with illustrator Guy Parker-Rees have created one swinging, partying giraffe. These are the sort of picture books that children can’t help but love to pieces. Plan on keeping plenty of scotch tape in the house to repair pages and covers as enthusiastic little hands read it over and over again.
Giraffes Can’t Dance features who else but Gerald the giraffe. Where he lives, everyone knows how to dance. When the Jungle Dance rolls around, he watches as every animal does its special boogie. Lions tango. Warthogs waltz. Even the chimps have a cha-cha. But Gerald can’t join in. It is a simple fact that he can’t dance. His legs are too skinny. His neck is too long. He’s too awkward to enter the festivities. But he certainly wishes he could! A failed attempt leaves him feeling downhearted and he wanders off alone. Out in the grass, one little cricket jumps up and tells Gerald that “Everything makes music.” With the help of a tiny cricket, Gerald learns that he can dance in his own special way.
Giles Andreae puts together a sweet story using fun rhymes that kids will love to read aloud. Giraffes Can’t Dance also sends out that one powerful message that many children need to hear on occasion; you can do anything if you set your mind to it. Self-esteem issues sneak into the book that helps get that message across and it’s an easy thing for kids to pick up on. Many can relate to the feelings that Gerald deals with and will be pleased to see a happy ending for the adorable giraffe.
Giraffes Can’t Dance is a load of fun, especially due to the pen-and-ink illustrations by Guy Parker-Rees. Bold colors evoke a truly partying feeling, from the sparkling stars in the sky to Gerald’s vibrant yellow and orange patterning. A good book for the home or in a school room, kids all over are sure to appreciate Gerald and his story of discovering his own talents.