cover image Emily the Giraffe

Emily the Giraffe

Pascal Lemaitre. Hyperion Books, $13.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-1-56282-403-7

Emily takes maximum advantage of her unusual anatomy, turning somersaults to regale her friends, lowering her neck to serve as a diving board, and using her variegated back as a chess board. When offered a trip north she puts her talents to new uses, becoming a chimney sweep and a circus performer. Still, she is happy to return to her friends in the jungle when given passage back as a reward for rescuing a child from a high-rise fire. Although initially appealing, the concept behind this slight story quickly becomes repetitive and wears thin; unlike another transplant from the tropics, the insatiably Curious George, Emily has little personality (except for a bland, all-inclusive friendliness) and her adventures lack punch. She is depicted in watercolors that are cheery but, again, somewhat repetitive; with her wide, lash-framed eyes, Emily may be too cartoony a figure for some tastes. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)