Saturday, November 12, 2016

Spoiler! Giraffes Ruin Everything by Heidi Schulz

What do you know about giraffes?

They have long necks. They have long legs. They are quiet and gentle.

But that's not all.

Giraffes spoil everything!

Take you average birthday party. The kids are well-dressed and behave nicely. But a giraffe will stick his long neck across the table, and with that long tongue he can lick up most of the cake. No ice cream cone in the room is safe. And that pitcher of punch? One glug down that long throat, and it's history.

At the movies he blocks the view of anyone behind him, all the way back to the last row.

You'd think, wouldn't you, that a giraffe would be an asset at a basketball game. I mean, dunking the ball is a sure thing for a sixteen-foot-tall center, right?

But nobody scores when the giraffe sticks his head up and through the hoop.

Giraffes spoil everything.

Except, maybe when you get your friend's brand-new kite stuck high in a tree, in Heidi Schulz's Giraffes Ruin Everything (Bloomsbury Press, 2016). Sometimes you have to take the bitter with the sweet, and when it comes to an unusual friend, his virtues may just  be the flip side of his vices. Artist Chris Robinson's slightly retro illustrations make the most of the mischief that a long-legged, long-necked giraffe can get into, and both the narrative and the artwork have nostalgic touches of Dr. Seuss' If I Ran the Zoo (Classic Seuss) or H.A. Rey's evergreen Curious George Flies a Kite, not to mention a final page dominated by an huge, house-wrecking elephant--a witty wink and a nod toward a future sequel. "A heartwarming lesson of learning to understand and accept friends as they are," says School Library Journal.

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