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4.7 out of 5 stars
Giraffes Can't Dance
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87 of 89 people found the following review helpful
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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
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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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
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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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
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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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 December 2013
"Giraffes Can't Dance" written by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees is book for children that will teach them the lessons of friendship and that you shouldn't listen to others when they tell you something is impossible for you to do, because too much effort needs to be invested.

The main character is Gerald the Giraffe who more than anything wants to learn dancing.
However, given Gerald's constitution, thin legs and bandy knees that seems like an almost impossible mission to achieve.
But encouraged by words from an unexpected friend, Gerald and small readers will learn that anyone can dance when music that we love is found...

Besides Giles Andreae humorous and inspiring text, the book especially excels on illustrations part, providing many funny pictures of dancing animals - tango dancing lions, rock 'n' roll rhinos, cha-cha chimps - that kids will love.
But, of course, the nicest are pages showing our main guy Gerald who from clumsy dancer eventually will become a big dancing star who performs acrobatic stunts.

Overall, this at first glance simple book gives the small reader many lessons of persistence, hard work and friendship.
And if they still fail in something they really want, they should remember that because they're might not good at some things there are many other of their talents in which they'll be great that will eventually make them happy.

Therefore, due to the beautiful lessons and book presentation, "Giraffes Can't Dance" can be recommended to every child.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2012
...play a different tune!

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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
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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