Author: John, Jory
A giraffe struggles to feel comfortable with his neck.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.40
Points: .5 Quiz: 199137
Kirkus Reviews (-) (08/15/18)
School Library Journal (+) (10/01/18)
Booklist (+) (06/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/07/18)
The Hornbook (00/09/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2018 *Starred Review* Less acerbic but no less engaging than the avian whiner in Penguin Problems (2016), Edward the giraffe frets about his prominent neck—“It’s too long. / Too bendy. / Too narrow. / Too dopey”—and despite his mother’s assertion that it’s something to be proud of (“Yeah, right,”), he feels like all the other animals have cooler ones. Until, that is, he meets Cyril, a tortoise with the opposite issue (“Pathetic, right? I’m basically neckless”), and does him a solid by plucking down a long-coveted banana. “You made it look so easy!” marvels Cyril. “Edward, face it—your neck is impressive.” Edward, abashed, compliments Cyril’s own “elegant and dignified” neck, and off go the two new friends to explore the world from each other’s radically different perspective. Never one to let an opportunity for caricature go to waste, Smith stretches Edward’s neck to comical length in the brushy illustrations, decks it with neckties and shrubbery, and then after sending it sinuously spiraling and flopping through various scenes, shows on a climactic foldout that it’s the perfect length to reach a bunch of bananas on a tall tree. That it’s just right for a giraffe is a notion that Edward, not to mention young readers with self-consciousness issues of their own, will have no trouble swallowing. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2018 PreS-Gr 2—In a follow-up to Penguin Problems, John and Smith team up again and bring their zany brand of comedy. Edward the giraffe has a problem with his neck—it's just too necky. Who wants such a long neck? "Everybody stares at it. This guy. That guy. Him. Her. Them. Whatever that is. Her again." Edward envies his fellow African animals, who generally respond unfavorably. When Edward admires the zebra's classic stripes, the zebra snaps, "Quit staring at me," but it takes a self-effacing turtle named Cyrus to convince him that his neck is just perfect. A foldout page reveals Edward using his neck for its intended purpose. In a beautiful introduction to the uniqueness of a giraffe's spots, Smith has created large, block-printed spots in natural colors to adorn the end pages. The textured print continues throughout, visible in the hides of animals, the bark of trees, and the textured ground of the African plain. Of course, there is the theme of self-acceptance and a bit of sublime silliness as well, especially in Edwards's fruitless attempts at camouflage and in the expressively simple eyes of Cyrus the turtle. VERDICT This book will appeal to older preschoolers as well as elementary school kids, and would lend itself perfectly to dramatic interpretation or an art lesson in sponge or block printing.—Lisa Taylor, Florida State College, Jacksonville - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.