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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 1 May 2008
What a wonderful story. For ages approx. 8+ but I thoroughly enjoyed it as an adult too!

This is the story of Martine. She's 11 years old when her parents are killed and she's sent to live in Africa with her only living relative, her grandmother. Her grandmother doesn't seem to be all that pleased to see her, but Martine soon finds the delights of living at Sawubona, a game reserve, compensate for her grandmother's strangeness. All the same, Martine wonders what makes her grandmother act so strangely... what is she hiding from Martine? Martine not only has the difficulty of being without her parents in a foreign country, but the challenge of starting at a new school too. Can she befriend the quiet boy, Ben, who sits all alone at break time and doesn't ever speak? Back in the wilderness, is there such a creature as the 'white giraffe' or is it just a mythical African story?

This is a lovely, magical story, full of the warmth, mysticism and ruggedness of rural Africa. Really well-written, and with simple yet effective black and white illustrations to help bring the pages alive. I can highly recommend it.
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on 21 March 2008
I read this story to my girls as their bedtime story. They were 8 & 6 at the time & were both gripped by the adventures of Martine & the silent, mystical Jemmy. I am not sure who enjoyed the story most, the girls or me, as some of the story telling is so beautiful. My girls wish to add in that the story is very sad to start off with but is ultimately one of their fave books. We are now awaiting delivery of Dolphin Song & already have the authors third book on order.
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on 20 June 2007
Between myth, dream and beliefs of sorcery, the white giraffe wants to be a completely enthralling history. It follows the traces of a solitary girl, and finally hardly ordinary, who discovers an unknown and unexpected world. To read, it is quite simply captivating! The African atmosphere is well returned, the author passed her childhood to Zimbabwe, in edge of an animalist reserve. Its subject is thus not embroidered with the light one.

It is appreciable also to share the conflicts of Juliette, at the school, with her grandmother and in the reserve, against the poachers. It is at the same time poignant and light, well in the current spirit I find. This book announces a trilogy to follow! With pleasure.
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on 1 February 2009
This is a totally enthralling, and beautifully written story, for children aged 8 and up. Martine's normal life is changed for ever when her parents are killed in a fire. She must go and live with the grandmother she's never met in the South African bush. Her new life is vividly and dramatically described and an extraordinary adventure begins. Lauren St John's writing is immediate, and memorable, and the story she weaves riveting. Thoroughly recommended for young readers.
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on 22 January 2007
With its colorful vocabulary The White Giraffe is an excellent book for my 9 year old. It is challenging but at the same time the story is so interesting that we maintain the comprehension even with the vocabulary challenges! I am totally enthralled by it.
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on 26 April 2006
This book is so amazing! Lauren St. John is a brilliant author, she really captivates the spirits of both Martine and Jemmy (the giraffe). She paints Africa as such a tantilising place and sucks you in with a plot that every child will enjoy - lots of twists, but not too many to get confused. This book, one of a series of three, is brilliant, quite simply one of the best childrens stories I have read in a very long time. Lauren St. John - Remember that name, she has a real talent!
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on 7 August 2012
amazing amazing AMAZING! this is actually my favrioute book i read it from start to finish in only four days! (it was that good) this story is heart warming and when my mum and dad told me it was bed time i was begging them to let me carry on with this book.They said i could carry on so i did and each page got better and better and better! this book is definatley worth the money :) it was as if my eyes were glued to the pages because i couldn`t put it down oh it is truly the best book i have ever read.i would definatley give this book five stars it has it all for me and i loved this book so much i`m reading the next book in the series elephant tale and i`m going to try and read them all. :) amazing :)
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on 19 July 2015
We read this at school in guided reading and all of our group really enjoyed it. It is a magical story about a young girl who travels from England to Africa and embarks on a mystical and dangerous adventure with her new friend the white giraffe.
Along the way, she discovers many secrets about her new home, her family and herself!
We liked it because it was very intriguing, exciting and full of suspense.
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on 22 March 2014
This is an enchanting story set in Africa, on a game reserve. The sights and smells of the savannah come pouring from the pages.

Martine is newly orphaned and goes to live with her grandmother – who doesn’t seem to want her even though she sent for her. Martine’s adventures in coming to terms with her new life are enhanced by her meeting the legendary white giraffe. But mysteries surround her. In a combination of fantasy and crime thriller, Lauren St John weaves a story that young readers, and those young at heart, will thoroughly enjoy.

One gripe. I hate it when the book finishes a long way from the end of the pages… and then you find a chapter from the next book to pad it out. Just give me the story, please!
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on 22 July 2010
A beautiful story beautifully read. The African accents and music really transport you to the other side of the world. The suspense, the drama, the scents and scenery all capured magnificently. I cannot recommend this CD highly enough.
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