I have seen so many rave reviews of this book since it was published in September, but I hadn’t gotten my hands on it yet… So I was thrilled that one of my girls unwrapped Giraffe Problems by Jory John, illustrated by Lane Smith, at our playgroup’s annual winter book exchange! We immediately read, reread, and reread again, and I knew I wanted to share this book with you after my social media holiday break. So, here you go!
We all have insecurities. Our children all have insecurities. And often those insecurities stem from exactly what makes each of us our unique selves. I am a firm believer in the power that children’s books have to open doors for children to talk about their own lives and to learn important social-emotional lessons. Giraffe Problems, the follow-up book to Penguin Problems, is one of these books!
In Giraffe Problems, Edward the giraffe has a big problem… his neck. It’s too long, too bendy, too narrow, too patterned… Edward goes on and on. He dwells on his problem for about half of the book, until he meets Cyrus, the turtle, who also has a problem… You guessed it! His neck is too short! These two unlikely friends come together to solve a problem and are able to realize the benefits, rather than drawbacks, of the other’s perceived big problems.
The writing is engaging and full of humor, as are the illustrations. I mean, who wouldn’t giggle at a turtle giving a ranting monologue about how much he wants to eat a banana he can’t reach? Or a giraffe wearing a necktie, three bowties, and at least 13 scarves? And on that note, Giraffe Problems is a blast to read out loud, because you get to embrace your inner drama queen!
Giraffe Problems is a wonderful and humorous story of friendship, acceptance, and embracing those unique traits that make us just that— unique!
Publishers recommend this for ages 3-7, but I can certainly see it being engaging with younger and older and useful for social-emotional lessons.