Mismatched animals who become friends are a common theme in picture books, and this one is visual proof that a real friend is “true blue.”
Every day is the same for Bertie and the other yellow giraffes. They nibble leaves from the treetops, drink cooling water at the water hole, and then snooze. That is, until the day when Bertie oversleeps and wakes up alone. Without the rest of the tower, he is lost. How will he find his way home? Just as he starts to cry, a shy creature steps forward—he’s just like Bertie, only blue! Not only does Blue show him the way home, but he draws Bertie’s attention to all kinds of unnoticed things, like rare flowers. Best of all, the other yellow giraffes love Blue, and from then on they all see things a little bit differently each day. Sound effects (“crunchity-crunch,” “sip, slurp,” “trit trot”) pepper the text, adding some liveliness. The giraffes are depicted with brown (or blue) polka dots and spindly legs, and the stylized flora in the background adds to the whimsy. One fanciful image shows the sleeping giraffes with their necks curled in loops; another, tall, vertical spread underscores the giraffes’ long necks. The theme of feeling different and finding a friend is predictable here, but kids will enjoy the colorful illustrations and laid-back delivery.
A gentle story with a sweet message that doesn’t hit readers over the head. (Picture book. 4-7)