CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number 6. . . .October 9, 2015
Though Giraffe Meets Bird is author/illustrator Rebecca Bender’s third book about the pair of sometimes fractious friends, in terms of time sequence, it precedes both Giraffe and Bird and Don’t Laugh at Giraffe as its contents deal with the pair’s first encounter and the roots of their occasionally rocky friendship.
The pair first meet each other at Giraffe’s “tree”, the one on which the quadruped youngster feeds and the same one on whose branches can be found the nest in which Bird is hatching out of his blue egg. Initially, Giraffe is amused by watching Bird discard the pieces of his shell, but Bird quickly makes Giraffe cross by flipping those same pieces on Giraffe’s head. Retaliating, Giraffe snorts at Bird, which is presumably an unpleasant event for Bird as two dead flying insects are seen falling from the snorted breath enveloping Bird. And so begins the pair’s tit-for-tat behaviour which, however, is not always negative. On the positive side, for instance, Giraffe discovers that offering Bird a branch with a delicious “worm” on it may result in Bird’s reciprocating by giving Giraffe’s long neck a good scratch with his claws.
With a lion in the vicinity, Giraffe and Bird know that they must leave.
Bender uses superb misdirection in this penultimate double-page spread as both text and illustration suggest that the pair are about to go their separate ways. The closing spread, however, finds Giraffe and Bird mounted on the back of an elephant family as “together they set off to find a new home to share.”
Dave Jenkinson, CM's editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.