A hungry giraffe plucks apple after apple for a steady stream of friends, until the tree is bare and she is tired—but she will eat soon!
Expressive tissue-paper collages against a stark white background (à la Eric Carle) ensure immediate interest. The starry giraffe’s name derivation is obvious: instead of a typical giraffe-hide pattern, her long neck and ovoid torso—both ochre—are covered with slightly darker stars. Only the starry giraffe can reach the apples, and she obligingly gives them away to a mouse, a family of skunks, a gray bunny, a raccoon, a snake, a rhino, and an inchworm. Whimsy abounds in both text and illustrations: two bumps indicate how many apples were swallowed by the snake; the rhino “carried one off in his lunch box to eat later.” Perhaps most delightful is the surprise ending—both humorous and satisfying and far removed from the sacrificial generosity of such books as The Giving Tree and The Rainbow Fish. The only misstep here is the fact that the starry giraffe is the sole animal with a female pronoun, while fully five of the others are male (the verdict is out on the skunk family members and the snake). Adults inclined toward gender parity will likely correct the imbalance as they read aloud the otherwise thoughtful—and charming—text.
A gracious, humorous exploration of generosity and gratitude. (Picture book. 3-5)