Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees



Gerald the giraffe is mocked by the other animals for not being able to dance. However a cricket’s encouraging words gave Gerald the confidence to do what others think he was awful at. 

When we were growing up, I’m sure we remember being bullied at some point. Perhaps you were not the best footballer in class and no one ever wanted to pass the ball to you. Perhaps you were the slowest runner in class so no one really wanted you in their teams. Perhaps you were not Picasso. Perhaps you were not great at speaking up in class. Perhaps you just had mega huge glasses that made you look weird. 

This brightly illustrated tale will ring a bell or two for those of us who were mocked at in school. You’ll feel sorry for Gerald the giraffe. However when he finally found music that he liked, he was soon swaying away like a professional dancer. 

The playful rhythm will attract attention from young audience at storytime. For older children, this book offers so much. It teaches them not to bully others and to accept others who are different. This book is a keeper. 


Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

Lift-the-flap books, like Dear Zoo, pique children’s curiosity and encourage interactive play during storytime. I started reading this to Theo when he was a newborn which of course did not result in any world-shocking response from him. As he got a few months older and understood the concept of peek-a-boo, lifting the flaps to expose each animal is THE most thrilling thing ever.

Repetitive text helps build memory skills (don’t the little ones JUST LOVE prediction?) and the flaps fine tune motor skills. The board book is fairly sturdy and I think it is suitable for babies and toddlers who might have the tendency to explore things by tasting them.

It is a great book to introduce animals one might find in a zoo and simple adjectives that describe each of them. Definitely a brilliant book for babies and toddlers.