A Surprise for Giraffe and Elephant by Paul Gude
ELEPHANT WAS WOKEN UP BY A VERY LOUD NOISE.
"GIRAFFE! IT'S TOO EARLY FOR ALPINE HORNS!"
Since Giraffe is speechless, she tries to show her fondness for Elephant by serenading on the alpenhorn. Elephant tries to be tactful about the early morning honking but Giraffe is obviously hurt.
But she tries to make up for her faux pas. Elephant remarks that she has always wanted to go for a toboggan ride. She shows her friend a picture. Giraffe grabs a welding torch and stays up late to build a toboggan.Politely Elephant pulls it out to an open spot on the sunny savannah and Giraffe takes a seat behind her.
IT WASN'T AS MUCH FUN AS THEY THOUGHT IT WOULD BE.
Elephant tries to soothe her friend's feelings by promising Giraffe a surprise party and urges her friend to make a list of what she would like. Giraffe's requests are specific.
1. BALLOON ANIMALS
2. POLKA MUSIC
3. NO CAKE
Poor Giraffe's surprise party is certainly a surprise, even if it is not exactly what she asked for. Suffice it to say that request #3 turns out to be a large sheet cake with "NO" spelled out in frosting on top. But who can be disappointed with the efforts of such a good friend?
Fans of Mo Willem's Elephant and Piggie books will find the same deadpan delivery and odd-couple humor in Paul Gude's A Surprise for Giraffe and Elephant (Giraffe and Elephant are Friends) (Hyperion Books, 2015). Gude's artwork is similarly simple but telling, with flat color and strong black lines delineating the characters, and minimalist storytelling that lets the understated expressions of his cartoon characters reveal the affection between his unlikely friends. Beginning readers will find this one easy going, and the charming naivety of Elephant and Giraffe will draw knowing giggles from slightly older kids.
For a double dose of Gude's sweet silliness, pair this one with its predecessor, When Elephant Met Giraffe (Giraffe and Elephant).