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|Neck & neck|
Author: Parsley, Elise
A giraffe's self-esteem is tested when he competes with a balloon for a young boy's attention.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.10
Points: .5 Quiz: 198389
Kirkus Reviews (04/01/18)
School Library Journal (06/01/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/01/2018 Leopold, a much-admired zoo giraffe, has a glorious life filled with plenty of delicious snacks—until a boy appears with a helium balloon shaped like a giraffe’s head, claiming that it is superior to Leopold (“It’s just like the real thing, only better”). Leopold tries and fails to compete with the balloon, so he pops it, whereupon the boy returns with a whole cluster of them. When those are accidentally sent adrift, Leopold at first refuses to rescue them, but he eventually relents, returning them to the tearful boy and becoming, once more, the recipient of adoration and snacks. Although Leopold temporarily loses his star power at the zoo, he is definitely the star of this book, experiencing a wide range of emotions and behaviors—happy, beguiling, confounded, sulky, vengeful, conflicted, remorseful—and he’s given just the right facial expressions and body language to carry them off. With plenty of action offset against a white background, this is a crowd-pleaser. Leopold demonstrates that is it possible to be both empathetic and a star. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2018 PreS-Gr 2—Leopold the giraffe greatly enjoys being the center of attention at the zoo. So, when he spies competition in the form of a giraffe-head balloon being held by a small boy, Leopold does everything he can to capture the child's attention, including getting rid of the balloon. After much consideration and soul searching, Leopold assists the boy in acquiring a replacement balloon and earns the child's adoration. The story unfolds at a decent pace, maintaining slight suspense over what the characters will do next. The vocabulary used is simple and expressive, and even changes font for dramatic emphasis. This device is extremely effective for read-alouds as the text acts like performance cues. Early readers should still be able to understand the story through Parsley's dynamic expressions for each character, especially Leopold. Through a combination of Adobe and Corel, Parsley has created a series of distinguished illustrations that tell a story all on their own. In fact, there are certain turning points that are expressed solely through facial expression with no textual assistance. While both text and illustration could tell the story separately, together they create an energetic, relatable tale with multiple surprises that force readers to think about how they handle competition. VERDICT An excellent story to teach toddlers how to do the right thing, even when they don't want to.—Margaret Kennelly, iSchool at Urbana-Champaign, IL - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.