Can a clumsy giraffe make friends?
Geoffrey, a lanky young giraffe, is all neck and limbs, and as a result, he is often awkward and ungainly. Onomatopoeic text curves around his wobbly legs and slippery hooves as his efforts at making friends inevitably end in chaos, confusion and the titular repeating refrain, “Oh dear, Geoffrey!” The cheery, mixed-media illustrations, replete with gentle humor, show Geoffrey and the various animals—meerkats, elephants, rhinoceroses—he tries to befriend, even as he overlooks some small, feathered potential companions who hover nearby. While trying to cheer himself up with some tasty leaves, Geoffrey discovers some needed, welcoming monkeys that appreciate his lofty height as well as the birds who’ve been there all along. Surrounded by his many new playmates, he’s free to see the good points of being so tall, including the ability to “see as far as the stars!” Children of unusual height or with characteristics not yet valued are sure to identify with this sympathetic portrayal, while all will admire Geoffrey’s perseverance as well as his dogged, hit-or-miss efforts to make friends. A good choice to encourage the development of empathy and show how individual difference is a plus.
Oh yes, Geoffrey! (Picture book. 3-6)