Giraffe Meets Bird Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Giraffe Meets Bird by Rebecca Bender“The unlikeliest of friendships grows, baby step by baby step. As Bird emerges from his shell, Giraffe’s head looms nearby. Giraffe is ‘surprised,’ and Bird is ‘amazed.’ Each double-page spread of Bender’s story focuses on a small development in the duo’s relationship, using crunchy vocabulary in large, emphatic type to explain it. Giraffe is ‘fascinated’ by Bird’s growth. It’s not all smooth sailing. If Giraffe wants Bird to give him a scratch, he has to be ‘polite.’ Bird wants to be alone in his tree, but Giraffe was there first: ‘sharing is hard’ and ‘tough.’ The standoff reaches a kind of solution when Bird falls into the tall grass. Giraffe scoops him up just as a young lion seems ready to pounce, jumping so high that he lands in the tree, the safety of which Bird and Giraffe don’t mind sharing this night. Next morning, there’s no sign of the lion, and they know that it’s time to leave. But who should stay at the tree and who should go? The final double-page spread depicts a line of three walking elephants (baby elephant in the middle), with Giraffe sitting on the back of the lead elephant and Bird perched in his small nest on top of Giraffe’s head. Attractive, bright acrylics give Bender’s animal characters personality, especially fuzzy, cantankerous Bird, and her friendship story is nicely modulated, with vocabulary lessons neatly tucked in. Sincerely sweet. (Picture book. 3-5)”

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School Library Journal

“When Giraffe and Bird first meet, they express a plethora of positive adjectives to describe their friendship, followed by several less favorable feelings when they both discover that establishing a relationship is not always easy. Giraffe is surprised, amazed, and fascinated to meet his small, newly hatched buddy until he soon finds it easy to become cross with him, and bird, in turn, finds it a cinch to become angry with giraffe. Communication and compromise continues to be touch and go until the moment that both unite to escape a common enemy: lion. Then they set off together (along with the help of three useful elephants) to find a new home to share. This is Bender’s third installment about Giraffe and Bird, who always have something to squabble about, but ultimately realize that they are still much better off together. Bender’s warm, expressive acrylic illustrations well suit the pair’s mercurial moods, from both animal’s wide-eyed fascination to their grumpy glares. The lion that creeps up on the defenseless bird as he sits unawares innocently stares at his prey, minimizing the fear of younger readers who may suspect a quick and perilous end to the smaller creature. With or without the pithy array of synonyms, the story’s overall message is what leaves the biggest impression: relationships are hard work, requiring tolerance and understanding, but are well worth the effort. VERDICT A worthy purchase along with Bender’s other two books about Giraffe and Bird.”

Resource Links

“This is the third book by this accomplished author/illustrator featuring Giraffe. The earlier volumes both received OLA recognition, and I would expect that this one will too. In contrast to many books for preschool and young readers, the author introduces a rich and varied vocabulary to express the emotions felt by both the characters. Not restricting herself to “mad”, “glad” and “sad”, the characters are “fascinated”, “thrilled” and “peeved” at different points in the story. The text is limited to one or two sentences per page and difficult words are in a large and different font. The text is accompanied with delightful, full page coloured, acrylic illustrations by the author. The huge difference in size of these friends is not mentioned explicitly, but the illustrations present the problem brilliantly. When the two meet a family of elephants the concepts of small and big, bigger and biggest are quite clear. This will be a wonderful book to share with younger children to feature unlikely friendships and explore emotions.”

CM Magazine

“…As in Bender’s earlier books about this twosome, Bender’s bold acrylic illustrations will sometimes amusingly tell a story that differs from what the text reports. For example, when the text reads, ‘Giraffe enjoys the peace and quiet of a nap’, it would be logical to conclude that it is Giraffe who is having the nap. However, on the page facing this text, Bird is shown joyously hopping from branch to branch in the tree, with one of the ‘branches’ being Giraffe’s head. The illustration accompanying the nap text reveals an annoyed Giraffe peering into a nest in which Bird has settled down for his nap.

An excellent addition to the ‘Giraffe and Bird’ series.

Highly Recommended.
Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.

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The Winnipeg Free Press

“…With gorgeous illustrations done in vibrant acrylics, Giraffe Meets Bird tells how an unlikely friendship developed between these two.

Good for reading aloud, this vibrant picture book tells an important lesson: despite minor clashes, true friends will be there when you most need them.”
—Helen Norrie

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National Reading Campaign

“Following up on her award-winning picture books, Giraffe and Bird and Don’t Laugh at Giraffe, Rebecca Bender goes back in time to show how her characters first meet in Giraffe Meets Bird. In this sweet tale for young readers, Bender continues to illustrate that you don’t need to love everything about someone in order to care – and share – abundantly.

…Because of Giraffe and Bird’s young age and the emphasis this book places on sharing, it readily calls to mind sibling relationships. But regardless of their place in the family, kids will relate as it so aptly depicts the complex beauty of friendships.”

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Sal’s Fiction Addiction

“…As she did in that first book, Rebecca Bender gives us memorable and lovable characters. Her double page spreads provide a close-up look at the developing relationship. Her expressive characters are quite the pair. As you can see from the shared quotes, she uses words that are synonymous to describe their relationship. It allows her young readers to build vocabulary without really knowing that it is happening.

If you haven’t met Giraffe and Bird, you are in for a treat. Your little ones are sure to thank you for introducing them to this charming pair.”

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Kids’ Book Buzz

“There’s this giraffe that meets this bird. The bird was in its nest, in its egg, and when it hatched, giraffe saw it, because Giraffe is so tall. Giraffe thought the bird was cute and nice when he saw it, and Bird and Giraffe both learned what the other one liked, and had to learn to be nice. But they didn’t always get along, because sometimes they didn’t like what the other one did. Bird didn’t like Giraffe telling him what to do, and Giraffe didn’t like Bird bonking his head. So then they didn’t seem to like each other. But then when there was trouble coming, they went into this tree and helped each other because they were friends.

I liked this book because I like looking at the pictures, and there are fun things to look at in it. I like the part where the lion family comes and where the giraffe jumps into the tree. I was glad that Giraffe and Bird decided to be friends, even though they didn’t always get along. The pictures are really nice. This is a good book about being good friends.”
—Liesel, Age 4

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Canadian Review of Materials

“[T]he board book must be judged on its own merits, and it does work as such. With this introduction to the animal pair, hopefully the maturing versions of these young readers will later meet the rest of the picture book series, including the original Giraffe Meets Bird.”

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Where The Board Books Are

“A prequel to the picture book, Giraffe and Bird, Giraffe Meets Bird is both funny and honest about friendships. With a clear focus on illustrating eye contact and facial expressions, Bird and Giraffe have an intensive friendship when it comes to communicating. If bird is upset, you know it! If Giraffe is upset…you know it! This emphasis on illustrating facial expressions, in turn, allows children to see and understand a variety of emotions that we often associate with particular facial expressions.”

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