Piggy wants to give his best friend a kiss, but how will he reach Giraffe’s face?
Koppens’ simple language sets up the problem on the first spread: “Giraffe and Piggy are best friends. Piggy wants to give Giraffe a kiss, but Giraffe is too tall. ‘How can I reach you?’ Piggy asks.” Succeeding spreads show Piggy’s creative, Rube Goldberg–esque solutions, ones that children might think up on their own: dig a hole for Giraffe to sit in, swing as high as he can on a rope, take a running jump, and climb a ladder. Each fails, the last rather spectacularly, and as Giraffe bends down to make sure Piggy is OK and give him a kiss, Piggy realizes the obvious solution and takes the opportunity to kiss Giraffe in return: “Now, why didn’t I think of that?” This is solely a problem-solution story rather a friendship tale with depth, which might have made this book stand out. Savanna backgrounds are simple, keeping the focus on the characters, which is a bit problematic: Giraffe has no personality whatsoever, and their facial expression barely changes at all, remaining largely static with vacant eyes. Piggy has a little more spark.
Kids will be a step ahead of Piggy in solving the problem of reaching Giraffe to bestow a kiss, but that’s not enough to make it a good book. (Picture book. 2-5)