“Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees is a book that I used to read every year with my fourth and fifth graders. It is another book that can be enjoyed with a very wide age range. I read it to my daughter all of the time.
The plot of the book is rather simple, but the message has a huge impact. A giraffe wants to dance at the jungle dance but due to his long figure, it is hard for him to move around. To make matters worse, the other animals make fun of him and tell him that giraffes can’t dance.
Usually, I do not tell the ending of books, because I want you to be able to experience it on your own, but I have to share the last page of this book.
“Then he raised his head and looked up
at the moon and stars above.
“We all can dance,” he said,
“when we find music that we love.””
SO BEAUTIFUL!! I love, love, love that last page! It is so inspiring. Even though the other animals discouraged the giraffe, after a little encouragement from a small friend, he was able to believe in himself.
Due to the fact that this is such a simple story, it can be used with children of all ages to help them understand complex subjects such as believing in yourself and bullying.
Here is a reading of the book, if you would like: