Giraffes can’t dance

This is one of our very favourites! We still read it everyday more than a year after it caught my eye on the bookstore shelf. A  rhyme story about Gerald the giraffe that learns that being different does not need to be a source of sadness and ridicule, that one can find different and creative ways of expressing oneself and feel so satisfied! Whilst unable to dance like the other animals waltz, rock’n roll or cha cha, Gerald only has to listen to the sounds of nature and follow its instincts to amaze all at the annual Jungle Dance: “It’s a miracle, we must be in a dream! Gerald’s the best dancer that we’ve ever, ever seen!” For once, the cricket with his violin and fondness for music is helpful, guiding Gerald to find music that inspires him. Wonderful message, with playful and expressive illustrations. There’s also a short animation movie of the book available on youtube, but we prefer to read and leaf through the book ourselves. 

We go through it observing every detail. The first two pages, with the savannah in the sunrise (?), are mesmerising: the small hippo ears coming out of the tall grass, the two monkeys hugging up in the tree, the bugs climbing up the grass stalks. One time when we went through the different dances the animals do, we took advantage to play music to little gosling; he was swaying to the waltz and even now keeps counting to himself: 1-2-cha-cha-cha. He’s sad when Gerald leaves the dance sad and alone… ohhhh… loves it when the cricket comes in (“cri cri” becomes “chi chi”) and is intrigued by Gerald closing the eyes to listen to the sounds of nature or being ecstatic when he realises he can dance. A very enjoyable reading over and over and over again and many opportunities to learn about animals, music, emotions.

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