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Giraffes Can't Dance
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About the Author

Guy Parker-Rees'exuberant and energetic illustrations have made him a household name and one of today's bestselling children's illustrators. Notable success include Giraffes Can't Dance, a worldwide success and recently a Richard & Judy children's book choice, Spookyrumpus, winner of the Sheffield, Dundee and Portsmouth book awards, and the highly acclaimed All Afloat on Noah's Boat. Guy lives in Brighton with his wife and three young sons.

Reviews

PreS-K-A clumsy giraffe is instantly transformed into an exceptional dancer when he finds music that he loves. Gerald has tall, thin legs, which are good for standing still, but when he tries to run, his crooked knees buckle. At the annual Jungle Dance, he is laughed off the floor. A cricket tells him that "-sometimes when you're different you just need a different song." This advice enables the lonely creature to dance, much to the amazement of the other animals. The rhythmic text follows a pattern of four lines per stanza. Some rhyme and others do not. Some flow smoothly; others are forced. One line states that, "He threw his arms out sideways-." Huh! Giraffes don't have arms. Full-page color illustrations done in pen and ink and watercolor are bold and warm. Characters are whimsical and expressive, but they don't make up for the drastic and unbelievable turnaround that takes place upon hearing the cricket play his violin. For stories about individuality, stick with Helen Lester's Tacky the Penguin (1988) and Three Cheers for Tacky (1994, both Houghton) or Robert Kraus's Leo the Late Bloomer (HarperCollins, 1971) and Owliver (Prentice-Hall, 1974; o.p.).-Kathleen Simonetta, Indian Trails Public Library District, Wheeling, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

All the jungle's got the beat, but Gerald the giraffe has four left feet. Such is the dilemma in this British team's bouncy if didactic picture book about self-esteem. As a multitude of fleet-footed beasts eagerly "skip and prance" at the annual Jungle Dance in Africa, Gerald feels sad "because when it comes to dancing/ he was really very bad." Jeered by waltzing warthogs and cha-cha-ing chimps when he attempts to cut a rug, Gerald hangs his head and leaves the celebration behind. Luckily, a friendly cricket appears in the moonlight, chirping a morale-boosting song of self-confidence that soon sets Gerald in graceful motion. Andreae's rhyming text has a jaunty rhythm that's likely to spark interest in the read-aloud crowd, in spite of a heavy-handed message. Parker-Rees's kicky depictions of slightly anthropomorphic animals boogying on the dance floor are the highlight here. His watercolor and pen-and-ink artwork exudes a fun, party vibe. Ages 3-6. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

a joyful read about an outsider who finds acceptance on his own terms.... there's also a simple moral about tolerance and daring to be different. - JuniorThis delightful picture book is written in lively rhyming text with vivacious illustrations. - JuniorA rhyming story with superb illustrations... wonderfully funny. - IndependentWitty match of rollicking rhyme and bold colour. - GuardianA fantastically funny and wonderfully colourful romp of a picture book. All toddlers should grow up reading this or hearing their parents read it aloud to them. - Daily Telegraph

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