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Giraffes can’t dance

Giles Andreae, Guy Parker Rees
Orchard books

Age 3-5

It is time for the annual dance and all the animals are keen to perform, all that is except Gerald who is good at lots of things but not dancing. When he takes to the floor to try he is laughed at. Gerald felt sad and useless until he met a cricket who showed Gerald that he could dance if he found the right music. A story to reassure young readers that we can all succeed if we find what we are good at with a little encouragement along the way. With a rhyming text that skips along and wonderfully bold and colourful illustrations with lots of humour and detail this is a great story to share again and again.


Watch the story

Share the story

Read aloud
Read the story aloud to your child, allowing time to talk about the story and illustrations when your child wants to.

Join in
When children are familiar with the story you could encourage them to join in, by supplying the rhyming words if you leave gaps when you read or perhaps with some of the dialogue such as where Gerald exclaims, ‘I am dancing!’

Talk about the book
Talk about any unfamiliar words and phrases such as clumsy, elegant, buckled at the knees.
Talk about Gerald’s feelings when he first takes part in the jungle dance and at the end of the story.
What would your child like to say to the other animals in the jungle about the way they treated Gerald?
Look back through the text and try to spot the cricket watching Gerald on each page and some colourful beetles as well.

Things to make and do

Make a list
What might giraffes be good at? Make a list. Choose another jungle animal and think about what they might be good at too. Talk about yourselves, what you are good at and what you find difficult.

Have your own jungle dance
Look back at the pictures of the jungle dance, choose some music and try out some of the animals’ dance moves.

Make a picture
Give your child a large piece of paper and some paints including  yellow and orange. Suggest they make a big painting of Gerald doing a jungle dance.  

Find out more

Find out more about giraffes here

Read more stories by Giles Andreae

Rumble in the Jungle

Cock-a-Doodle-Doo Farmyard Hullaballoo

Be Brave Little Penguin – see our Lovemybooks page