Bertie the giraffe lives a predictable life in the jungle: crunching leaves, slurping water and snoozing with his herd. Every day is like the last, until that is one morning he oversleeps and finds everyone has gone. He feels bereft and unsure what to do with no herd to follow. Then Blue arrives, a giraffe just like Bertie, only completely blue! After initial hesitation Blue and Bertie make friends and Blue takes Bertie on a wonderful journey seeing new sights and having exciting experiences in the forest. At the end of the day Bertie feels he must go back to his herd but invites Blue to join him. The newcomer is welcomed and inspires the herd to enjoy a bit more variety in the way they spend their days.
A picturebook debut with delightful illustrations in a fresh and appealing style. There are some deft touches such as the way the giraffes’ legs are splayed when drinking from the watering hole. The varied use of the picturebook format makes for an enjoyable reading experience; readers are invited to rotate the book for one illustration emphasizing height as the giraffes look up towards the canopy of tall trees. One double page spread includes a truly stunning image of the two giraffe friends running with a herd of zebra. The font choice is delicate and in keeping with the illustrations though sometimes a little hard to read on darker backgrounds. There are some nice touches with the language with onomatopoeia for munching the leaves ‘crunchity crinch’ and repetition ‘and that was just how they liked it’. Although not fully developed at the end of the book the story touches on important themes of acceptance and belonging. A picturebook maker with a light touch, definitely one to watch!