Thursday, May 1, 2014

Giraffes Can't Dance (Anniversary Edition) by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees (Orchard Books)

Giraffes Can't Dance

Written by Giles Andreae

Illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees

Published by Orchard Books

Phew! Is it really 15 years since Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees' brilliant book "Giraffes Can't Dance" first strutted its funky stuff across our bookshelves? I guess it must be because here's the anniversary edition of this timeless book. One that has somehow evaded our beady eye up till now but we're very happy to 'meet' it!

Gerald the Giraffe is tall, slender and we'd love to finish this sentence off by saying "graceful" but when grace was being handed out, poor Gerald was at the back of the queue. Despite his stature, Gerald really cannot dance. He stumbles, trips and lollops around in a quite ungainly fashion.

The annual animal dance championships are in full swing, and poor Gerald can only look on as all the other animals take to the stage to bust their best moves, dancing with style and energy.

Will poor Gerald ever be able to join in? Perhaps it's not a case of skill but a lack of a friendly helping hand that has held our Gerald back. So when an unlikely friend whispers some sage advice to Gerald, maybe things will change.

We've often described the sheer pleasure that some books can give when you read them aloud. Giles Andreae always has a way of producing the most pitch-perfect flowing stories as we learn Gerald's plight and follow him through his dance debut.

Guy Parker-Rees' gift for illustrating animal stories comes to the fore and he can really go to town, producing charming and engaging characters (not least of all Gerald himself!) and a multitude of brilliant expressions as the story unfolds.

We're extremely glad we've caught up with this book in its 15th year. Don't leave it too long before you check it out too!

Charlotte's best bit: There's one really lovely spread in this as Gerald slowly begins to find his groove. Such a beaut!

Daddy's Favourite bit: A charming story that's truly lovely to read aloud, and a great core message delivered expertly by two of the best in the business!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Orchard Books)

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