The Starry Giraffe

Andy Bergmann. Aladdin, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-9100-6
A hungry giraffe with star-patterned fur comes across a lone apple tree in illustrator Bergmann’s first picture book. After the giraffe plucks “the most delicious-looking apple” from a branch, a mouse pops out of its hole. “I’m very hungry,” he squeaks, “but I am much too little to reach those delicious apples.” The giraffe happily gives the mouse the apple, but their exchange is, oddly, the only dialogue in the story: other animals show up silently in turn, and the giraffe offers the tree’s remaining apples to them. When the apples are gone, the still-hungry giraffe rests for a moment, then discovers a whole row of apple trees behind the first one. Designwise, Bergmann’s story has a lot to commend it; his digital artwork overlaps brightly colored shapes like translucent window decals to create a friendly animal cast, set against white backdrops. Storywise, it’s less successful: the giraffe certainly demonstrates selflessness and generosity, but the overall point, which seems to boil down to the idea that doing the right thing costs less than one might think, isn’t entirely clear. Ages 4–8. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2017
Release date: 06/13/2017
Genre: Children's
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