ZARAFA by Judith St. George

ZARAFA

The Giraffe Who Walked to the King
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

Zarafa the giraffe first traveled on camelback, then by a small, creaky boat, then a tall ship and, finally, walked 550 miles on her own four hooves. Why would a giraffe ever do all of that? In 1824, Muhammad Ali, the viceroy of Egypt, decided to present King Charles X with a beautiful, exotic gift—a giraffe (in Arabic, zarafa means “charming” or “lovely one”). But Zarafa had to travel all the way from Egypt to France, with her lanky neck and knobby-kneed legs growing the entire time. In her trademark witty yet informational style, St. George relates this epic journey with a jaunty text and quick, parenthetical quips. Spencer easily captures this essence as his long-lashed giant happily lopes through the pages, much to the delight of adoring crowds. His gentle human caricatures and almost-but-not-quite anthropomorphized animals are playful, expressive and fun (an attendant cow’s seasickness is a particularly amusing detail). Thousands of visitors came to see Zarafa in France—no doubt many more will flock to this book. (author’s note) (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-399-25049-1
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2009




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