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Giraffes Can’t Dance – Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees

Giraffes Can’t Dance is a wonderfully uplifting story of friendship and learning to be yourself.

The Story: Gerald the giraffe has thin legs and crooked knees. At the Annual Jungle Dance he watches the other animals dancing but when he tries to dance they laugh at him. Gerald leaves the dance and meets a friendly cricket who advises him to listen to the sounds of nature and follow his own rhythm. The cricket starts playing his violin and Gerald starts to dance like he has never danced before. The other animals are amazed and ask Gerald how he learnt to dance like that. He tells them that everyone can dance when they find music that they love.

Giraffes Can’t Dance encompasses the themes of friendship and the fact that it’s great to be different and dance to our own tune. The cricket is the only creature who helps Gerald when he is struggling and down, the animals who have teased him when he is clumsy are quick to ask for advice when his dancing improves. They are fickle and unhelpful, it is the little cricket who believes in Gerald and encourages him to embrace his uniqueness.

Guy Parker-Rees’ illustrations are full of humour, especially the picture of the animals dancing. We like the waltzing warthogs and the rock and rolling rhinos best. The wide range of expressions on Gerald’s face effectively convey his emotions and his joy when he realises that he can dance is exuberant. The rhyming text is easy to read and now I know the CD I often find myself reading with a calypso rhythm!

Giraffes Can’t Dance is a great story to use in the classroom to stimulate discussion on the themes of friendship and individuality. I have also used the story several times to stimulate arts sessions. Each child drew around a foot to make Gerald’s head and then stuck it on top of a long neck. We added ears, horns and eyes and then fingerprinted the spots. Lastly we stuck on small pieces of wool for the giraffe’s mane.

Our book came with a CD and we love the calypso jungle rhythm that accompanies the audio reading. The music is very catchy, it’s great music to dance to. I would definitely recommend buying the book with the CD.

Age Range: 3 +

Author: Giles Andreae / Illustrator: Guy Parker-Rees


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17 responses to “Giraffes Can’t Dance – Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees”


  1. Rosie @Eco-GItes of Lenault avatar

    The boys had this book when they were little and we all loved it. In fact it is one of the books I couldn’t get rid off so it is now in the gite for many more children to enjoy! Thank you for joining in with #AnimalTales and your arty Gerald is great!


  2. Kriss MacDonald avatar

    We loved this book! That is both my kids as well as me! Now I’m really curious to hear the CD as I want to hear the Calypso tunes.


    1. Catherine avatar

      The CD is fab, whenever I read Giraffes Can’t Dance out loud I can hear the calypso beat in my head 🙂


  3. Dean of Little Steps avatar

    That certainly sounds like a sweet and funny book to read to my four-year-old 😉 #animaltales.


    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s a great story and the CD is really fun to listen to 🙂


  4. mykidsguide avatar

    What a great activity. Thanks for sharing with us during our weekly party! I pinned it!


    1. Catherine avatar

      Thank you for pinning and thank you for the party invitation 🙂


  5. Emma @ P is for Preschooler avatar
    Emma @ P is for Preschooler

    We got this book at the library and it’s really cute. I love the art project you did to go along with it!


    1. Catherine avatar

      Thank you – I have no idea why my daughter wanted to make a green giraffe!


  6. Leah Mastilock avatar

    love the craft project! Thank you for joining the Learn Through Play hop!


    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s a fun craft to do. Thank you for visiting Story Snug 🙂


  7. Ashley @ MommaDOO avatar

    Stopping over from the Learn Through Play Blog Hop! We love giraffes in our house, I definitely have to find this book! Great post! – Ashley


    1. Catherine avatar

      Thank you and thank you for visiting Story Snug 🙂


  8. Ann @ Such a Mama avatar

    Thanks for linking up with Learn Through Play! I will definitely have to check out this book – and the craft you did is adorable!


    1. Catherine avatar

      It is a cute craft and I’ve done it with children from as young as three (that may be my daughter’s three year old version – we have several!). Thank you for visiting Story Snug 🙂


  9. PragmaticMom avatar

    What a wonderful activity to go with the book!


    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s a fun craft. I’ve done it several times.

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