Review Blog

Dec 12 2019

Celeste the giraffe loves to laugh by Celeste Barber

cover image

Illus. by Matt Cosgrove, Scholastic, 2019. ISBN: 9781760669171.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Animals, Giraffes, Humour. Celeste the giraffe just loves to laugh and her winning smile and laughing face helps others to laugh too. But she has misgivings that others do much cooler things than she, and so tries to copy them, making the reader laugh out loud at her attempts to fit in.
In pairs of rhyming lines, readers will love reading out the lines for themselves, predicting the rhyming word and perhaps offering other suggestions for a word which rhymes.
Celeste spies the hippo looking ever so cool with her sunglasses, mobile phone and coconut drink, lazing by the river. When she jumps in she makes a huge splash, but Celeste, trying to copy her style, makes barely a ripple in the water. Trying to out roar the lion leads to a similar disappointment and emulating the ostrich with its head in the sand is equally regretful. Trying to outpace the cheetah leads Celeste to utter exhaustion, and her encounters with a shark, kangaroo, hen, elephant amongst others are just as frustrating.
Children will laugh with glee seeing the way Matt Cosgrove changes Celeste as she tries to fit the image of the other animal, and laugh at the antics she displays. Cosgrove's funny illustrations will bring tears of laughter from the readers as they watch Celeste trying so hard to be different. She comes to a realisation, after crashing into a tree, that perhaps she has skills she has not promoted. She is strong and has a long neck and can teach the other animals.
A fun filled treatise on being yourself, of being satisfied that you are unique and do not have to copy others to be cool, this happy book will encourage readers to think about their own skills and unique qualities for themselves.
Fran Knight

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