Monday, December 8, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 233

Picture Book: Giraffes Can’t Dance

Author: Giles Andreae

Illustrator: Guy Parker-Rees

Summary: Gerald, a giraffe, wants nothing more than to join in the dancing at the annual Jungle Dance, but his knees are crooked and his legs are thin, both of which make his dancing clumsy and awkward. He approaches the dance floor anyway, but he is quickly teased so he slinks off, ashamed. Along the way home, Gerald is encouraged by a cricket who says, “Sometimes when you’re different you just need a different song.” Then he tells him to imagine the moon is playing just for Gerald because everything makes music. Gerald begins to shuffle, sway, and swish. His dancing becomes glorious. Soon the animals from the party arrive and become entranced by Gerald’s moves. They declare Gerald the best dancer ever! When asked to explain his sudden grace, Gerald says that we all can dance when we find music that we love.

Hanna’s Comments: This is such great book about encouraging others and finding your bliss! Many of Gerald’s admirable attributes could be talked about with children in your faith community such as his ability to persevere, be authentic, and listen. The cricket would be a great character to explore in a children’s discussion too. Both of these characters can be connected to characters in the scriptures who acted in similar ways such as Barnabus, Paul’s encourager, and Paul himself, who was an outsider among Christians until he proved himself a valuable preacher of the Gospel.  

Publisher & Date of Publication: Orchard Books, 1999

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 3 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Yes

Formats other than Book: Video, Audio download/CD

PBT Category: Pre 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abilities, action, Africa, aspirations/dreams, authenticity, celebration/party, choir/music/singing/songs, dance/dancing, diversity, doubt, encouragement, exclusion/inclusion, gifts/talents, gladness/happiness, God’s presence, goodness, helping, individuality/uniqueness, joy, judgment/judges/judging, listening, loss of faith, mentors/teachers, moon/space/stars/sun, participation, prejudice, reassurance, response to God, self-discovery, underdogs

Scripture Connections: Then Miriam took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing. (Exodus 15:20); You have turned my mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11); let them praise his name with dancing (Psalm 149:3)

Idea(s) for Application: Use this book to talk with children about different styles of worship and the purposes of worship including to authentically praise God. Or Connect these main characters to Bible characters with similar attributes.

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