As it plays hide-and-seek on the veldt with its admired big brother, a young giraffe gains confidence in its own abilities.
The text admirably offers no gender to the younger sibling; unfortunately, the jacket gives it female pronouns—perhaps because the female author has mentioned admiring her own big brother. This discrepancy aside, the author/illustrator has created another excellent picture book, beginning with the winsome cover art and its clearly expressed sibling affection. At the story’s beginning, it is the big brother’s turn to hide in the twosome’s game of hide-and-seek. The little giraffe—eyes properly closed—counts to 10 and then asks other kinds of animals to help it find its brother. A pleasant litany is established as the giraffe gives each group a different brotherly trait to help in the tracking, and the animals respond that the little giraffe possesses the same trait. The little giraffe, in turn, always says that its big brother is superior in whatever trait is mentioned. For example, when a trotting group of warthogs says the giraffe is fast, its answer is, “Not as fast as my brother!” Meanwhile, astute readers will notice the stealthy appearance of a leopard creeping around nearly every page, adding some pint-sized tension. The ending is a humorous, satisfying surprise. Magical, aesthetically appealing watercolor art ensures that each type of gently anthropomorphized animal is clearly defined specieswise.
Brilliant fun. (Picture book. 3-5)