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RAF by Anke de Vries


by Anke de Vries and illustrated by Charlotte Dematons

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59078-749-6
Publisher: Lemniscaat/Boyds Mills

A beloved toy is lost and found again—well, not exactly, but close enough—in this charming, lighter-than-air import. Raf is a stuffed giraffe who is clearly the favorite companion of his owner Ben. Raf’s portrait on the cover reveals mud stains, straggly hair and a goofy grin while the opening double-page spread shows him flying through the air with one leg clutched in a mittened hand. Then Raf disappears, and his imaginary adventures begin. According to hand-lettered postcards with evocative stamps, Raf is in far-off Africa, traveling by camel caravan, floating past flamingos, frolicking with elephants, swinging through trees with monkeys and visiting his spotted kin. Unusual perspectives and bold use of color keep the illustrations interesting while the contrast between Ben’s cold, snowy home in Holland and the sunny African scenes adds appeal. Raf’s ingenuous comments prepare Ben (and readers) for the change in his appearance upon his joyous return. Parents might learn a trick or two; kids are likely to accept Raf’s transformation at face value. Pure delight. (Picture book. 4-8)