Tag Archives: Giles Andreae

Love – Giraffe Can’t Dance

I have a fondness for Giles Andreae. (Just can’t spell his name with any great accuracy. Although it is a very nice name.) I also have a fondness for his lovely illustrations. Except I am always reminded he writes the words and people like Guy Parker-Rees looks after the looks of giraffes and other characters.

This board book is rather lovely. It is probably more for toddlers than babies, despite its board book-ness. The cover is purple with a giraffe, and silver stars. It’s lovely.

It’s full of things to love, and ways to love. I’m just not sure why giraffes can’t dance. Despite the title, I mean. But they can love.

If you love a little one, you might want to read to them about giraffes and love.

Willow and the water

It’s the small successes that count the most. Or so I’d like to think.

The Resident IT Consultant and I popped in to have dinner with friends. Our hostess pointed to Giles Andreae’s and Guy Parker-Rees’s Be Brave Little Penguin, which she had lying next to the sofa.

I gathered that it’s been a big hit with little Willow, her grandson, and it’s been read many times.

While it’s obviously a rather lovely book, about the penguin who’s afraid of going in the water, it has some relevance for Willow. This summer he went to the beach with his mother [and the rest of the family, so he wasn’t alone] and she went right into the sea and disappeared! By which I mean she likes to put her head under water, so she did. And Willow did not like it. Not one bit. Mothers are not meant to just disappear.

So he’s not all that keen on swimming and water and all the rest. He’s only two, so may come round one day, but until then… It’s good, and useful, to find yourself in literature. In this case, I suppose Willow is Little Penguin.

But to end on a Swedish proverb, perhaps mothers shouldn’t ‘ta sig vatten över huvudet.’ At least not when your toddler is watching.

Be Brave Little Penguin

Easier said than done, this being brave stuff. But with arctic conditions closing in on me, I felt for this poor little frightened penguin. His dad is a bit tactless, but his mum is lovely.

Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees, Be Brave Little Penguin

Giles Andreae has written this story about little Pip-Pip who doesn’t quite dare go in the water. It could be cold. (Probably is, down there.) There might be monsters. (Might. Probably not though.) Icy and fresh illustrations from Guy Parker-Rees didn’t do anything to entice me to consider getting in the water. I’m totally with Pip-Pip on this.

But, you know. Once dad has said his dad type comment on bravery, mum takes over and suggests that another possibility is that it could be absolutely fine, if Pip-Pip would only take the plunge. Literally.

And Pip-Pip does, and …

Sweet little story, showing young readers that fear is OK, and you will overcome that fear. Eventually.

But the water looks awfully cold, I have to say.

How now brown cow

Dog poo comes in many sizes.

Bet you wanted to know that.

Giles Andrea's World of Happy

Increasingly I find it hard to say anything very interesting about picture books. Not that the books are lacking. It’s me. (And while we’re listing my shortcomings I have to admit to having thought that Giles Andreae illustrates books. Now it seems he writes them.)

Giles of the hard-to-spell-correctly surname still has a very catchy name. There is something about it I like. And I quite like these thirteen books. It’s not always I can say I’ve read thirteen books in my tea break, but this time it’s true.

And they are really very sweet and true. Brown cows can easily be the best. Dog poo obviously comes in more than one size, just like the dog it came from. (Sorry.) Teamwork is good and hippos are more than welcome to wriggle their vast hips. (I – on the other hand – have never been allowed to.)

Friendship is good. So is being nice and standing up for what you believe in. Knitting is fun even if you’re a gorilla and fear can be overcome. Love is lovely and good manners can get you far. (Still not sure I fancy being eaten, even if the eater thanks me.)

Janet Cronin’s illustrations are lovely, and I like the colour scheme of the spines. Although they arrived in a most ramshackle colour order (= lack of) and I simply had to arrange them more to my liking.

It’ll soon have to be colour co-ordinated bookshelves here. It’s nice.