In this touching and triumphant rhyme of a story, we meet Gerald, a giraffe who sadly believes what the other animals have always told him – that giraffes can’t dance. His legs are too long, his neck is too skinny, and his knees are too crooked.
“Hey, look at clumsy Gerald,”
the animals all sneered.
“Giraffes can’t dance, you silly fool!
Oh, Gerald, you’re so weird.”
He leaves the Jungle Dance in utter defeat until his path crosses with an insightful little violin-playing cricket who offers a different perspective… and a solution.
“Excuse me!” coughed a cricket
who’d seen Gerald earlier on.
“But sometimes when you’re different
you just need a different song.”
The compassionate cricket begins playing his violin and suddenly, Gerald realizes… he is DANCING! Soon the other animals gather round and witness the incredible transformation. Animals who before scoffed and taunted are now applauding Gerald as the “best dancer that we’ve ever, ever seen!” As Gerald finishes his dance with a flourish, he says, “We can all dance… when we find music that we love.”
In other words, we are all unique and have something special we can do – which sometimes is something that others don’t expect or think we can do. But all we need is a little confidence and encouragement.
With vibrant illustrations by Guy Parker-Rees and an engagingly lilting rhyme written by author Giles Andreae, Giraffes Can’t Dance engages the reader from the very first page and then tugs at the heartstrings because of the teasing and bullying that Gerald endures. It’s available in hardcover, paperback, and audiobook formats. This is a lovely story not only to teach children the power of words, but also other important life lessons like helping others, kindness, resilience, acceptance, empathy, and compassion.
This review was contributed by Theresa Case whose award-winning Kindermusik program has been making a difference in the lives of upstate South Carolina children and families for nearly 25 years now.