Don't Laugh at Giraffe cover

By Rebecca Bender & Rebecca Bender

Don’t Laugh at Giraffe

Giraffe and Bird make the oddest pair. All they do is spat, squabble, and get on each other’s nerves. In the morning, Bird uses his loudest outdoor voice, so Giraffe makes a disgusting noise as he clears his phlegmy throat, so Bird tickles his neck, and . . . well, you get the picture. There’s nothing Bird likes more than to have a laugh at the expense of his lanky friend, and one dry day at the pond, he gets his chance. Giraffe’s awkward attempt to reach the water without getting his hooves wet raises a cackle from a flamingo, a chortle from the zebra, then a howl from the hippo. Soon everyone is having a good laugh . . . especially Bird. In fact, Bird is having a ball until he realizes that his mortified friend has left the pond without quenching his thirst. Now Bird is sorry. How will he get Giraffe back?

Author/illustrator Rebecca Bender’s hilarious illustrations accompany a story about empathy and the trials of friendship that will persuade young readers that it’s okay to look goofy and laugh at yourself once in a while, especially when you are not alone.

Available In


Ages 4-7
ISBN: 978-0-9869495-6-2
List Price: $19.95 CAD / $19.95 USD
Hardback with picture book & with printed dust jacket
Trim Size: 9.00 x 11.00 inches / 22.86 x 27.94cm
Pages: 32

Distributed in Canada by University of Toronto Press

Distributed in the U.S. by Orca Book Publishers

Carton Quantity: 24

Not yet available

About this book

Awards and Honours

  • 2013 Blue Spruce Award, Ontario Library Association (Runner-up) (Canada)
  • 2014 Rainforest of Reading Award (Short-listed)
  • 2012 Resource Links "The Year's Best" (Commended) (Canada)



About Don’t Laugh at Giraffe

2013 OLA Blue Spruce Award runner-up

2014 Rainforest of Reading Award shortlist

2012 Resource Links “The Year’s Best” selection

STARRED REVIEW “Don’t Laugh at Giraffe is a warm, gentle tale with a good message and plenty of funny moments, making it a great choice for sharing. After all, the story reminds us, it’s always better to laugh with a friend than at one.”—Quill & Quire Starred Review

“Bender paints the animals against a bright savanna backdrop, emphasizing their emotional ups and downs with exaggerated facial expressions. The conversational text gracefully delivers a message about kindness and having a sense of humor.”—Publishers Weekly

“Young readers will be able to internalize the lesson of empathy well, as it is so subtle; Bender does not preach at all, but merely shows her readers – largely with her beautiful illustrations – one option in this social situation.”—Resource Links

“[Bender] knows when a picture, rather than words, should carry the story…A fun read, but one which still speaks to the meaning of friendship…Highly Recommended.”—CM Magazine

“Author and illustrator Rebecca Bender has fashioned a delightful children’s picture book for kids ages 4 through 7. It is one thing for people to laugh with one another in unison and quite another thing to laugh at others. Seeing his friend humiliated and unhappy brings out Bird’s caring and creativity. Don’t Laugh at Giraffe covers both the good and the bad sides of laughter.”—Spirituality & Practice

“The relationships in Don’t Laugh at Giraffe cleverly reflect the often-confusing relationships kids have with other kids. Figuring out how to be with others is tricky for children, and they will likely welcome the conversation the book can inspire. Bender’s illustrations are gorgeous, colourful and lively.”—Open Book Canada

“In this book, Rebecca examines the delicate nature of embarrassment and friendship…[C]hildren will go through many situations with their friends that they will have to grapple with and find solutions for. Having books on hand that show this as a normal process in friendships will support them in these journeys, and open the conversations with thinking about how to solve their own problems in a creative and positive way.”—Toronto Public Library

“Bold acrylics fill the pages…[Bender] creates personalities with expressive visages (hard to do on a small bird) and morphologies, with lessons to teach and learn. Recognizing that we’re all a little bit Giraffe and a little Bird makes them even more endearing.”—CanLit for LittleCanadians

“The artwork is so expressive and appealing to the book’s young audience…the author makes some sparkling decisions about word choice, encouraging an expressive and engaging shared reading.”—Sal’s Fiction Addiction


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