A mother giraffe gently instructs her child in the proper techniques for adapting to her grassland environment.
She teaches the baby giraffe to become aware of other animals, both friends and foes, and how to drink from a creek. She tells her baby about fire, both its dangers and its positive qualities. The baby giraffe complains when an oxpecker (a bird that often has a symbiotic relationship with giraffes) lands on her back, saying “But it hurts!” The mother soothingly answers: “As you grow older, your coat will get thicker and this will be just a tickle. Until then, you’re strong with me.” This phrase serves as a refrain throughout the book, just as similar comforting phrases were woven into the partnering author and illustrator’s previous books You’re Safe With Me and You’re Snug With Me (both 2018). Soundar and Mistry create an entirely original work here, shifting to a different world region and finding just enough danger and new experiences for a baby animal to encounter, with a mother always nearby to make sure her little one carefully learns what she needs to in order to feel secure as she grows up. Many shades of brown and gold evoke the hot African grasslands where these giraffes roam. The highly stylized illustrations are spectacular, full of repeating triangle and diamond shapes that are reminiscent of African textiles from various countries.
A book to excite children about animal life and reassure them of the lasting love from elders. (Picture book. 4-7)