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4.7 out of 5 stars508
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Board book|Change
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on 27 October 2010
Superb book from Giles Andreae which subtly points out that we can do something if we really want to - it might just need a different approach!
Brilliantly illustrated throughout in vibrant 'jungle' colours, by Guy Parker-Rees.

Attractive paperback covers opens to 32 high quality shiny pages, in 2-page spread format.
The text is clear and easy-to-follow, and enhanced at the turning point of this story, FOR EFFECT!

Great for narrating - the flowing rhyming text is easy to encourage the important 'all-join-in', and being a larger paperback, measuring in around 23.75 cm x 29.25 cm, it is clearly visible from the 'back of the pack', as we call it in our little reading corner!

The rhyme begins with a description of Gerald the Giraffe and what he is at good at, i.e. standing tall and munching lofty shoots. However those long legs are not the best for chasing after butterflies...or dancing at the 'Jungle Annual'!

The atmospheric illustrations are packed with finer detail promoting extra 'look and see' games, counting, name the different sorts of animals, the various dances...and the facial expressions are key - so typically human - from the sadness/happiness of dawning realisation, the determined preoccupation of the 'dancers' and the hilarity of most!

Gerald is really sad because he can't dance:

* he can't waltz, he can't rock 'n' roll, he can't tango, he can't cha-cha.....and he certainly can't Scottish reel!

But he goes onto the dance floor, anyway - and off again!

He starts to walk home all alone...but...in a little clearing under the moonlight sky, he meets something which makes him stop and encourage him to look at everything from a different perspective:

'Listen to the swaying grass
And listen to the trees,
To me the sweetest music
Is those branches in the breeze.

So imagine that that lovely moon
Is playing just for you,
Everything makes music
If you really want it to...'

And Gerald does...and as all the animals happen by, one-by-one, they see an amazing sight - this particular giraffe can dance, after all!
Beautiful, and happy ever after!

Also available as a Giraffes Can't Dance Gift Set, with your very own Gerald!

Also worth a look, by the same duo - The Chimpanzees of Happytown.
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on 15 March 2003
Another wonderful book from Giles Andreae. The other animals laugh at Gerald the Girafe because gangly "Girafes can't Dance" but Gerald learns from an unusual source that he can dance wonderfully when he can hear his own music. A real treaure that teaches children and adults alike that appearances can be deceptive and we must look past the cover. Look past this books cover and you find yourself on a magical road to self awareness. A great tool for discussing all forms of prejudice or just a wonderfully funny book. Read and enjoy whilst reader and child learn a valuable lesson for life.
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on 9 December 2001
Giraffes can't dance is simply a wonderful book that teaches children that not everyone is the same, and that everyone has hidden talents. A humorous and well illustrated work. Highly recomended.
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on 20 February 2008
I bought this book after reading so many good reviews on this site. I couldn't even get through it without crying!!! That may have been an over-reaction but it really is a wonderful story and the illustrations are beautiful. Definitely my favourite book in my daughter's collection (and let's face it, it's just as important for the parents to love the kid's books as they're the ones reading them out loud every day of their lives!).
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on 29 June 2002
A brilliant book, with fantastic illustrations. The verse moves with pace and read aloud to children immediately catches their imagination. The jungle animals are shown dancing but poor Gerald the giraffe feels very clumsy until he meets a friendly cricket. A tale with a moral, we may all be different but 'Sometimes all we need is a different song to dance to'. The audio tape is equally briliant. Not only do you have the verse read by Hugh Laurie but the music to accomapany each dance. An excellent introduction to different kinds of music, so rare these days.
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on 28 May 2002
I've just purchased a "big book" edition of this to use with reception class. It's a great, light-hearted story about a bandy-legged giraffe with two left feet who turns out to be a brilliant boogier, with the right kind of music, and a little help from a cricket of course! The kids will love this one- its got bold colourful illustrations and plenty of humour to boot. What's more there's a nice message in amongst the rhyming narrative- that we're all different and even if we find we cannot do something- if we try again and look for new ways then anything is possible!
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on 30 August 2001
Gerald is a giraffe and an outcast until one day he lets go of his inhibitions. The illustrations and alliteration make this a favourite for both me, aged 31 and my nephew Billy, aged four and a bit. Its written by the bloke who does Purple Ronnie.
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on 6 October 2004
My daughter has enjoyed this brilliant book since the age of two, now aged four she 'reads' the rhymes to all of her dolls on a weekly basis enjoying every minute.
This book captures the imaginations of all children through rhyme and fun, whilst delivering the important message that even though we may all be different, we all are able to achieve our dreams when we find our ' music that we love!'
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on 7 August 2001
This is the favourite book of our 2 year old daughter, we all love the illustrations;it has just the right amount of meaning-full but fun words on every page - a must for any house with young children.
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on 25 July 2013
Giraffes Can't Dance is a great little rhyming book about Gerald, a clumsy Giraffe, who seems to be the only one in the jungle who can't dance. Every year in Africa, the animals hold a jungle dance. This year, whenever that is, Gerald arrives at the event and the others immediately start laughing at him, knowing of his ineptitude in this field. Feeling "so sad and so alone", he starts to walk home. On his way he meets a cricket, who helps him to understand that he can dance if only he listens to the right music. Thus, Gerald's ability to dance improves beyond measure. His fickle friends, upon seeing him spiralling across the jungle floor with his new-found agility, cannot believe their eyes, and suddenly Gerald is the 'beau' of the ball.
I absolutely loved this book, as did the youngest member of the family, aged two. The rhyming is superb:
"The warthogs started waltzing
And the rhinos rock `n' rolled
The lions danced a tango
Which was elegant and bold." Priceless!
The illustrations are detailed, vibrant and great fun; and will undoubtedly hold the attention of those too young to read to themselves. In fact, it's the ideal read aloud book anyway; being just the right length. And then there is the nice little touch of having a cricket to find on every page; which provides a certain amount of entertainment in itself. This book shows what it feels like to be different and how, by learning that we only need to "find the right music" to encourage us, things can change - a great message.
Highly recommended
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