Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Giraffe Meets Bird

Publish September 22, 2015

Following up on her award-winning picture books, Giraffe and Bird and Don’t Laugh at Giraffe, Rebecca Bender goes back in time to show how her characters first meet in Giraffe Meets Bird. In this sweet tale for young readers, Bender continues to illustrate that you don’t need to love everything about someone in order to care – and share – abundantly. As in her previous Giraffe and Bird books, Bender writes in a parallel structure, portraying each character’s point of view. In doing so, she also plays with synonyms, highlighting them in a larger, bold text: “Bird learns that it’s easy to make Giraffe cross. Giraffe discovers that it’s a cinch to make Bird angry.” As well, she includes expressions like “feathers are ruffled” when Bird is annoyed, and “tickled” in the context of excitement to show kids a new meaning for these phrases. Bender’s acrylic illustrations are bright and expressive, and she depicts a range of emotions through the friends’ eyes and body positions. She uses double-page spreads generously: some highlight just how big Giraffe is compared to Bird, while others emphasize their connectedness by placing them eye-to-eye. At one poignant moment, kids will love turning the book sideways when Giraffe leaps, dangling Bird by his mouth. Because of Giraffe and Bird’s young age and the emphasis this book places on sharing, it readily calls to mind sibling relationships. But regardless of their place in the family, kids will relate as it so aptly depicts the complex beauty of friendships.

Giraffe Meets Bird

Rebecca Bender
Illustration EN: Pajama Press

ISBN 13: 978-1-927485-35-4

Jen Bailey
Jen Bailey Jen Bailey is an Ontario-certified teacher who holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She works for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. Jen’s other book reviews have appeared in Quill & Quire and Canadian Children’s Book News.

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