One of the challenges of writing a blog about children’s books is to avoid overuse of words like ‘charming’ and ‘delightful’, particularly when you read a book like Giraffe on a Bicyle which is exactly those things – it is charming and it is delightful. No other words will do.
Julia Woolf’s debut picture book starts off with a monkey finding a bicycle (the not-to-be-skipped wordless endpapers tell you how this came to be – a clever little touch). Giraffe then pedals off through the jungle, gathering monkeys, tigers, flamingos and snakes on the bike. They hurtle along in their increasingly precarious journey, until…crash! The bike is in ruins – can the jungle buddies put it back together?
Giraffe on a Bicycle is a must for reading aloud. The language – with it’s whooshing and slithering, wiggling and wobbling – really comes alive when it’s spoken. A few reads in, and my three year old will be reciting it by heart. The illustrations are jam-packed with colour and more than enough silliness to keep younger readers beaming along.
Perfect as a simple bed time story, or take a moment to dwell on the deeper message about friendship and working together. Either way, you’ll be hard pushed to say it’s anything other than charming and delightful.
I’m off to invest in a thesaurus…
A copy of the book was provided by the author.