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Neck & Neck

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  584 ratings  ·  102 reviews
A giraffe's self-esteem is tested during a confrontation between unlikely look-alikes!

Everybody loves Leopold the giraffe. He inspires awe and wonder. His adoring fans gaze and cheer. Best of all, they feed him lots of deeeelicious snacks! But, one day, a shiny, bobble-headed new rival comes in and ruins everything...a giraffe-shaped balloon! Just how far will Leopold go
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  584 ratings  ·  102 reviews

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Rod Brown
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Humorous, but even if he learns a lesson in the end, the main character is a bit too petty for my tastes.
Wiil empathy win out over being the centre of attention for lofty Leopold? To save or not to save ... that is the question. This dilemma provides many laughs.
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book, 2019
This book caught my eye as I meandered by the books at Costco, reminding myself I was just looking and I had no intention to purchase anything. Really. Truly.

I opened it and stood there laughing and grinning and thoroughly amused. Marie Kondo talks about things that bring you joy... this book brought me joy and I decided to give it a home with me (after some dollars were exchanged). I feel like I just bought a puppy, that's how adorable this book is.
Nadine Jones
Aug 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
A very silly book about a very silly giraffe who enjoys getting all the attention at the zoo and feels threatened by ... a balloon. Yes that's silly. Yes, Leopold does pretty much what you think he will do ... eventually.

The art is not my favorite style. The author / illustrator drew and colored the art on her tablet, and computer illustrations (and especially computer coloring) are not my thing. There is a note that credits an editor, two designers, a production supervisor, and a production
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Leopold the flesh-and-blood-bonefied giraffe will NOT be outloved by a stupid airhead! But when one little boy takes his balloon adoration a little too far (read: he buys every giraffe balloon in the zoo then makes fun of Leopold), Leopold must decide if he wants to do what feels right (letting all the boy's balloons float away in the breeze) or what IS right (saving the boy's balloons and returning them).

VERY cute. And, a very good lesson. Sometimes what IS right doesn't feel as good as what
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a funny book! I liked how Leopold tried to compete with a balloon giraffe. It was funny watching him try and do the moves. But he was too tall and couldn't.
I feel that this is a good book to read to little kids and laugh with them at the things that Leopold tries to do.
Rachael Marsceau
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
The illustrations are just hilarious. Love this deviation from the Magnolia books.
Erica Flory
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
I don't like balloons
McKenzie Richardson
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

An adorable picture book about a self-absorbed giraffe that becomes a hero. So cute. I loved the facial expressions. Who would have thought that a giraffe could have such an emotional range? Very well done. I really enjoyed the silly illustrations.

A very cute story.

I got this from the library and looked through it with one of the kids I work with. He enjoyed the silly pictures, especially when the giraffe retreated to his tree. A nice book with a
Ann Haefele
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Clever story about empathy. A giraffe enjoys the love he gets at the zoo until he comes across a rival...a bobbing, grinning rival (kids will notice it is a balloon) that appears to be just a tall as the giraffe. Leopoldo the giraffe will go to almost any length to erase his competition, until empathy arrives.
Heydi Smith
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-storytime
I adore this book! I love that the giraffe expresses real feelings openly - like happiness, jealousy and pouting.

Essentially giraffe loves attention and gets upset when he has to compete for that attention against a giraffe shaped balloon.

The illustrations are cleaver and clean looking.
The story is straightforward and the writing is well constructed.

I would definitely add this to a feelings or giraffe storytime. This book would pair well with Giraffe Problems by Jory John, A Giraffe and a
Katie Reilley
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Poor Leopold the giraffes self esteem is damaged when a shiny, bobbing, smiling rival comes along and threatens to ruin everything! Lots of laugh out loud moments and great book to open the door for discussion on jealousy, empathy, and making the right choice. A definite #classroombookaday for my 4/5 grade students! ...more
Viviane Elbee
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Humorous picture book about a giraffe, who wants to be the center of attention at the zoo, but is facing stiff competition from a balloon with a giraffe head. Kids laughed while I read this one. It's short, perfect for toddlers & preschoolers, but elementary students will probably get a kick out of it too.
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sometimes rivals are SO annoying! Giraffe gets the perfect revenge only to discover he is out-numbered. A trip and then comes the question, should he help or not?

Adorable and very understandable story of jealousy AND doing the right thing. Parsley's illustrations are hilarious and she uses the "tall" format so well.
Amanda Brooke
Finally Elise Parsley was nominated for the Washington State Children's Picture Book Award (2020). I cannot stop reading her other books every year. They are such a hit. I was surprised that last year the Magic Word did not win the award - it's a popular reread (by Mac Barnett). All of these books make the students want more. I tease them as Leopold has his dilemma that we should stop reading and I should have them write a paragraph explaining what they think he will decide - so cruel. But it ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Neck & Neck by Elise Parsley. PICTURE BOOK. Little, Brown and Company, 2018. $18. 9780316466745.



Leopold is a giraffe who loves being the center of attention at the zoo. When a young boy starts praising his giraffe balloon as being better than the real thing, Leopold gets a little bent out of shape.

The best part of this book are the illustrations--I love them. The reactions on Leopold's face are fantastic, and I really like the style of
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
At the zoo, Leopold the giraffe is king. Everyone adores the gentle giant. He fills visitors with excitement and wonder. In return, he is feed yummy snacks. However, one day, giraffe-shaped balloon tries to overtake Leopold's territory and snacks. How far will Leopold go to prevent his spotlight from being stolen?

The picture book was a fun and delightful read. The story shows how when can compete to win affection (for this story) just by doing the right thing. The storyline at first was a bit
Age: K+
Animals: Giraffe
Emotions: Jealousy
Family: New baby

Everyone loves giraffe but when a happier, shinier, more agile balloon receives more adoration, Giraffe's jealousy overtakes his ability to be kind. In the end, he saves a whole bundle of giraffe balloons and receives praise for his effort.

Perfectly silly but best for an older audience who can laugh, not reel back in fright, at the horror-filled face of the boy after his balloon is popped.

A note at the end reveals that this book can be
Becky B
Leopold the giraffe LOVES being the star of the show at the zoo. When an interloper appears and threatens to steal some of his fans, Leopold must do something.

This was a humorous look at jealousy and ultimately choosing to do what is right rather than what you might prefer to do. Parsley's illustration style is so fun, and she's put a lot of emotion into Leopold's expressions. A very fun trip to the zoo with some great opportunities to talk about how to deal with feelings of jealousy, and what
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
A humorous story about the rivalry between a giraffe and a balloon. Leopold the giraffe is the star of the zoo - at least until a giraffe shaped balloon comes along and steals the spotlight. Leopold decides to take matters into his own hands (hooves?) and get rid of his rival once and for all. But in the end he discovers that playing nice just might be the best way to earn respect and admiration. This would be a fun read aloud for an early elementary school classroom. I especially enjoyed ...more
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Leopold loves his life at the zoo. Kids laugh and cheer and feed him snacks. And then a kid brings over a giraffe balloon and Leopold feels threatened. Its just like the real thing, only better. So, he pops the balloon so that the kid can give him his full attention. But the boy stomps off. Where did Leopold go wrong? The boy brings back a whole fist full of balloons, but trips and they go flying. Only Leopold can stop the balloons from flying away. To save? Or not to save?

Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A giraffe loves being adored by the zoo visitors. One day a young boy brings a giraffe balloon and talks about how much better the balloon is. The giraffe is jealous and solves the problem in a rather sad way (kids will love the illustration). The boy returns with a dozen giraffe balloons which break free. The giraffe makes a different decision this time and discovers that being kind works as well as being adored.
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love the silliness of this giraffe and the look alike balloon. I saw this at a book store and brought it home from the library. I love Elise Parsley's way of drawing the expressions on the giraffe main character. I was thrilled to see it featured in a zoo story instead of a big furry predator. This giraffe and the child visitor with a balloon of a giraffe's head have some face offs and the ending is so unexpected. I bought a copy so I could share it with a grandchild.
A giraffe struggles with jealousy and petty actions against giraffe balloons that a child likes better than the giraffe. When he learns to overcome his feelings and do the right thing, he finds that there is enough love to go around, especially after an act of kindness.

Kindness breeds kindness.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
All I kept thinking was Animal Abuse. Seriously can the little boy be reprimanded by an adult? Teasing a giraffe is not funny. The giraffe is not nice either as he is pushed to his limit. I have to wonder why and how this book thought it was good for children. Ok, in the end all is well but the mean spirited is unnecessary.
Erin Buhr
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is such a fun read aloud. It is full of preschool-like emotions that remind me of Anna Dewdney's Llama Llama. Giraffe enjoys his immense popularity at the zoo until one day he comes face to face with a new rival for attention. Cute, original concept with a character preschoolers will identify with.
Kenna Coffee
A story for very young readers and learners. Would be most appropriate for kids in early childhood through kindergarten. The story is cute with few words on each page and the illustrations easy to follow. There is no real content in the story so its a book that would be read for leasure and that would probably be it. The illustrations are adorable.
Cristina Mrozek
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Neck & Neck was a laugh out loud, fun read that I was able to share with my toddler. Leopold is an easy to love main character who is a bit self-absorbed. He goes through a range of emotions only to find himself needing to make a change. The lesson learned is good for all children.
Leopold considered himself the star of the zoo, and everybody's favorite. But what will happen when Leopold finds himself playing second fiddle to a balloon? This humorous story will explore what it takes to overcome one's jealous behavior, and make the right decision.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My elementary students loved hearing this book, and it is constantly checked out of the library. It provides a good teaching example about doing the right thing. I also found it helpful with teaching foreshadowing as it allowed us to talk about what might happen or should happen.
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