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

Celebrating dance-ability!

First, let’s be clear – this writer loves giraffes!   Perhaps because we have height in common, or their graceful gate as they trim the trees or gallop across the plain, or their quiet and observing manner.  Whatever the reason, they are amazing creatures.

In Giraffes Can’t Dance we are welcomed into the ‘secret’ world of the animal kingdom where the animals gather to party in forest.   Naturally, its a dance party!  Waltzing Warthogs and Cha-cha-ing Chimps are among the many  getting their groove on and when it is Geralds’ (the giraffe) turn, his clumsiness is found to be entirely hysterical.   A new friend helps Gerald to find his groove to his own unique music and teaches the reader that everyone CAN dance!

The text is rhythmical and precise.  the colours are bold and beautiful, and the drawings are beautiful and have a movement all their own.

Recently I shared this book with a group of boys who happen to be a part of an Autism [ASD] group.  I hesitated to read the book as they are a bit older and are just at that stage where they might think its too ‘babyish’ for them.  To my surprise, they were captivated by the drawings of the animals, enjoyed the rhythmical flow of the text,  and excited by the notion that Gerald found when his own way to groove in the forest.    We then listened to three different pieces of music, all with different qualities, and explored how we would move to that particular piece.   The result?

Absolute Magic.  Even the student who usually shies away from exploring movement found his own groove in that class.

Thanks Gerald.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees”

  1. Hi, Jacqui. I love your story of how the boys really connected with this book. I think it’s neat that the author and illustrator of the book are both boys, too! Thanks again for joining the roundup. I really enjoy hearing how you use different books in class!

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