"Hey, look at clumsy Gerald," The animals all laughed, "Giraffes can't dance you silly fool Oh Gerald, don't be daft!" Cha-cha with the chimps and rock'n'roll with the rhino in this funny and very moving story about Gerald the Giraffe who longs to dance - but is laughed off the dance floor. Hilarious illustrations complement Giles Andreae's rollicking rhyme, and the story unwinds to a funny, touching and very happy ending. The picture book was on the Sheffield Children's Book of the Year Commended list. 'This rhyming poem is excellent, and begs to be read out loud." THE BOOKSELLER
Gerald the giraffe doesn't really have delusions of grandeur. He just wants to dance. But his knees are crooked and his legs are thin, and all the other animals mock him when he approaches the dance floor at the annual Jungle Dance. "Hey, look at clumsy Gerald," they sneer. "Oh, Gerald, you're so weird." Poor Gerald slinks away as the chimps cha-cha, rhinos rock 'n' roll, and warthogs waltz. But an encouraging word from an unlikely source shows this glum giraffe that those who are different "just need a different song," and soon he is prancing and sashaying and boogying to moon music (with a cricket accompanist). In the vein of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
, Gerald's fickle "friends" quickly decide he's worthy of their attention again.
With this rhyming, poignant (in a cartoonish way) tale, Giles Andreae, author of Rumble in the Jungle, and numerous other picture books, shows insecure young readers that everyone can be wonderful, even those that march to the beat of a different cricket. The rhymes are somewhat awkward, but the bold, bright watercolors by Guy Parker-Rees will invite readers to kick up their heels and find their own internal harmony. (Ages 3 to 6) --Emilie Coulter