Review Blog

Aug 30 2013

The short giraffe by Neil Florey and Mark Clearly

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2013. ISBN 9781743315071.
(Age: 4+) Picture book. Humour. Problem solving. Animals. A photo shoot at the zoo proves to be a rather involved situation. The six giraffes are all very keen to be photographed together. But one giraffe is much smaller than the rest, and each time they set up the shot, his head does not appear. Many of the other animals make suggestions about how the problem can be solved. He tries standing on stilts, but the stilts collapse, he tries strapping on the backs of a number of turtles, but their backs are so slippery they all collapse, he tries hanging from a tree, but then he is in the photograph upside down. Filling him with helium, putting wings on his back, and springs on his feet, all fail to make him the same size as the others. The photographer, a baboon, is out of ideas until a lowly caterpillar makes a suggestion. The result is a photograph they can all be proud of, and it includes them all.
The sepia coloured paper used as a background to the zoo and the problem, contrasts well with the bright, animated pictures of the animals as they try different things to solve their problem. The page which shows the results of their efforts will double the readers' laughter at the antics of this group of animals trying to solve their problem.
Fran Knight

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