The Sto­ry of Giraffe

Ronald Hermsen; Gui­do Pig­ni, illus.
  • Review
By – March 14, 2012
Noah tells giraffe he must find a girl giraffe before the flood comes. That is how it must be.” Noah says. So giraffe trav­els from the desert to the Polar Regions in search of a girl giraffe. He encoun­ters a mouse, an ele­phant, a fish, an ostrich, a kan­ga­roo, a camel, and a pen­guin, ask­ing each one if they have seen a giraffe. Each ani­mal offers him some advice. The kan­ga­roo offers to paint him spots; the fish offers to teach him to swim. The giraffe sees that it is start­ing to rain and he races to catch the ark, but he must swim to reach it. He swims by remem­ber­ing what he learned from the fish. He catch­es up with the ark and when he is pulled aboard, he finds a female giraffe wait­ing for him. One won­ders how she got aboard with­out a mate when he wasn’t allowed on with­out one. The text in this book is stilt­ed (per­haps due to the trans­la­tion from the orig­i­nal Dutch) and the many unan­swered ques­tions will frus­trate read­ers, but the illus­tra­tions are excel­lent. There are quirky details such as the humor­ous close up which peeks inside a mouse’s hole, and a poignant illus­tra­tion of the lone­ly giraffe when it starts to rain. Giraffe is even giv­en a scarf when he is with the pen­guins. There is also a stark sil­hou­ette of the giraffe run­ning alone toward the ark. Mr. Pig­ni, the illus­tra­tor, is a promi­nent graph­ic artist from Italy. For ages preschool – 6.
Bar­bara Sil­ver­man had an M.L.S. from Texas Woman’s Uni­ver­si­ty. She worked as a children’s librar­i­an at the Cor­pus Christi Pub­lic Libraries and at the Cor­pus Christi ISD before retir­ing. She worked as a vol­un­teer at the Astor Juda­ic Library of the Lawrence Fam­i­ly JCC in La Jol­la, CA. Sad­ly, Bar­bara passed away is 2012.

Discussion Questions