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Archive for the ‘Don’t Laugh at Giraffe’ Category

Publishers Weekly reviews Don’t Laugh at Giraffe

Posted on August 15th, 2012 by pajamapress

Publishers Weekly has some delightful things to say about Don’t Laugh at Giraffe:

“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

Click here to see the full review.

Plan a Giraffe and Bird Party Part 3: Muddy Puddle Slushies

Posted on August 13th, 2012 by pajamapress

This summer we’re having a virtual party with our favourite funny friends from Don’t Laugh at Giraffe! We’ve already given you some game ideas and a finger paint loot bag activity; today we’re sharing a cool drink inspired by poor Giraffe’s attempts to slurp up a mud puddle.

Ingredients Per Slushie

4 ice cubes

1/8 C Nestles Quick

1/2 C milk


Pour all the ingredients into a blender and frappe!

That’s it! Stay tuned for more fun ideas in weeks to come!


Plan a Giraffe and Bird Party Part 2: Handprint Loot Bags

Posted on July 30th, 2012 by pajamapress

This summer we’re having a virtual party with our favourite funny friends from Don’t Laugh at Giraffe! We’ve already given you some game ideas; today we’ll be sharing an activity that lets kids get in on the fun of making their own loot bags!



One paper bag per child

Tempera paint—mix it with a little liquid hand soap to make it easier to get out of clothes

Plastic plates or lids to hold the paint

Paper towel and newspapers to help with the mess

Black pencil crayon or marker

Hand print 1

Step 1

Press your hand into the yellow paint.

Hand print2

Step 2

Press your painted hand onto the paper bag.

Wash your hand!

Handprint Giraffe Art

Step 3

Dip your finger in the brown pain and give your giraffe spots.


Step 4

One the paint is dry, add details with a pencil crayon or marker.

You can make a thumbprint bird using the same technique!


Stay tuned for even more fun with Giraffe and Bird!

Plan a Giraffe and Bird Party Part 1: Games

Posted on July 20th, 2012 by pajamapress

Giraffe and Bird are unlikely companions, but their antics in Rebecca Bender’s Giraffe and Bird and Don’t Laugh at Giraffe have charmed children, teachers and parents across the country. 

For those who just can’t get enough, we’re building a virtual Giraffe and Bird party, complete with games, food, crafts, and favours—each one of them healthy, wholesome, and kid-tested. Over the course of the summer we’ll be bringing you step-by-step instructions so that you can have your own party! And don’t forget to share any fun ideas of your own in the comments. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Today we begin with…GAMES:


The Materials: 

One glass of water per child

One drinking straw per child

The Setup:

The straw goes in the glass of water.

The glass of water goes on the ground.

The Goal:

Be the first to drink a whole glass of water.

The Catch:

No bending your arms or legs!


The Materials

Thin slices (“leaves”) of green apple

A paring knife

Kitchen string

The Setup:

Make a hole in each apple slice with the paring knife and feed a length of string through.

Appoint half of the children as “trees” for the first round and half as “giraffes”. They can switch afterward.

Give each “tree” a leaf to dangle.

The Goal

Just like Giraffe when he’s browsing for leaves, eat your apple slice without using your hands!


If you’re preparing your apple slices ahead of time, let them sit in lemon juice to keep them from browning.


Bird HATES it when Giraffe steps on an earthworm. It means the worm will be stretched all out of shape by the time Bird pulls it free. How long will the worm stretch? Find out!


The Materials

One empty drinking glass (Giraffe’s “hoof”) per pair of children

One gummy worm per child


The Setup

Partner A presses down with the drinking glass on one end of the gummy worm

Partner B stretches the gummy worm as far as it will go

The Goal

To have the most stretched-out gummy worm in the group! Check your results with a ruler.


The Materials

A pole that can be held horizontally at various heights

The Goal

This is just like regular limbo, except instead of bending backward, you’re bending forward! Don’t forget to keep those front hooves hands off the ground!

Stay Tuned for food, craft, and favour ideas for your Giraffe and Bird party!

Rebecca Bender captures the “paradox” of childhood friendship –Toronto Public Library

Posted on July 17th, 2012 by pajamapress

Giraffe and birdjpegHave you ever been totally puzzled by the peregrinations, bumps and grinds that children experience in their friendships? It was always endlessly fascinating for me to watch the way children bicker and argue with those children they declare to be their best friends. Both with my own children and those I taught, it was evident that there were constant readjustments being made in the relationships that children have with each other.

With that I would like to welcome a relatively new author who is DontLaughAtGiraffe_Cable to capture that paradox. Rebecca Bender has just two picture books in print, and is a relatively new voice in Canadian literature, but what a voice it is. She has captured this unusual nature of friendship between children in both of the picture books available.

…Giraffe and Bird…resonated so well with children that it won the 2012 Blue Spruce award voted on by thousands of children across Ontario.

This title has been followed up by a hilarious sequel, Don’t Laugh at GiraffeIn this book, Rebecca examines the delicate nature of embarrassment and friendship… How Bird handles this situation is a wonderful blueprint for friendship and problem solving.

Your children 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.
Peggy Thomas, Toronto Public Library

Click here to read the full post

Join the Pajama Party!

Posted on July 6th, 2012 by pajamapress

Pajama Party

Pajama Press has a brand new blog! Stop by for sneak peeks, extra content, author interviews, and more!

Intrigued? Here is a sneak preview of some of the posts you’ll be seeing this summer:

So put on your PJs and come on over. It’s a party!

Don’t Laugh at Giraffe lives up to expectations at Sal’s Fiction Addiction

Posted on June 5th, 2012 by pajamapress

I was very much looking forward to seeing this second tale about Giraffe and Bird. I so enjoyed Rebecca Bender’s first story about the two (dare I say it?) friends. They were funny the first time, and she is able to keep the humor fresh.

…The artwork is so expressive and appealing to the book’s young audience. They will see the emotional reactions of each character clearly and know just how they are feeling. The colors are bright, the setting is lush and lovely, and the characters close-up and personal. I think that my favorite is a double page spread of the two friends facing the sadness of Giraffe’s gaffe and the solution. But, I also love the constantly changing design and the many perspectives that give this funny (and tender) story life. As with the first, the author makes some sparkling decisions about word choice, encouraging an expressive and engaging shared reading.

We can only hope that we will meet these two again!

Click here to read the full review

Open Book Ontario’s “Read To Me” series features Don’t Laugh at Giraffe

Posted on June 4th, 2012 by pajamapress

Open Book’s new series Read To Me features “magical children’s books that kids will ask you to read multiple times, and that you’ll love reading.”

On May 31 Read To Me featured Don’t Laugh at Giraffe and explained why it’s a great read for everyone:

WHY KIDS WILL LOVE IT: 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.

WHY GROWN UPS WILL LOVE IT: The book’s message is lovely and an important one for children to understand: we all need to be strong enough to stand up against bullies and to stick up for our friends. The book’s appeal doesn’t just lie in its message; Bender’s charming and funny writing and vibrant illustrations make Don’t Laugh at Giraffe a very entertaining book to read out loud.”

Click here to read the full post


Don’t Laugh at Giraffe is “Highly Recommended” by CM Magazine

Posted on June 4th, 2012 by pajamapress

internal artYoungsters who first met this delightful animal odd couple in Giraffe and Bird…will be pleased that the sometimes squabbling duo are back again in another story about friendship. As author/illustrator Bender demonstrated in Giraffe and Bird, she 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.

Dave Jenkinson, CM‘s editor, livesin Winnipeg, MB.

Click here to read the full review


Rebecca Bender wins the Blue Spruce Award!

Posted on May 28th, 2012 by pajamapress

Pajama Press author Rebecca Bender has taken home the Blue Spruce Award for her debut picture book, Giraffe and Bird (Dancing Cat Books, 2010)!

The Blue Spruce Award is part of the Ontario Library Association’s annual recreational reading program, the Forest of Reading. Readers from across the province voted for their favourite in a shortlist of books for their age category; Giraffe and Bird was chosen by voters aged 4 to 7.

Rebecca received the award at the 2012 Festival of Trees on May 15, the same day her second picture book, Don’t Laugh at Giraffe, hit the shelves. Quill & Quire has already given the sequel a starred review, saying, “Endearing animal buddies Giraffe and Bird return in Rebecca Bender’s stellar second book, Don’t Laugh at Giraffe…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 that at one.”

Pajama Press will be releasing a Giraffe and Bird greeting card line this summer, and further books are being planned. For those who just can’t wait, the characters will interact with fans on special Facebook pages, The Giraffe and The Bird.