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Giraffes Can't Dance

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  25,592 ratings  ·  1,497 reviews
Gerald the giraffe longs to dance, but his legs are too skinny and his neck is too long. At the Jungle Dance, the warthogs waltz, the chimps cha-cha, and the lions tango. "Giraffes can't dance," they all jeer when it's Gerald's turn to prance. But with some sound advice from a wise cricket, Gerald starts swaying to his own sweet tune.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Orchard Books
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Becky Absolutely. This book is excellent about pointing out that we all have different strengths. And even if we don't perform a skill the same as others do…moreAbsolutely. This book is excellent about pointing out that we all have different strengths. And even if we don't perform a skill the same as others doesn't mean we don't have the skill or aren't capable of developing it. A character at the end of the story helped the giraffe come to understand this, and then the other animals came to the same understanding. All it took was one kind "person" to make the difference. (less)
Alex No, it isn't that funny, really. It is a little silly in some parts. It has excellent rhythm and alliteration. It is well written and cute, a favorite…moreNo, it isn't that funny, really. It is a little silly in some parts. It has excellent rhythm and alliteration. It is well written and cute, a favorite of my 4 year old since he was two.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  25,592 ratings  ·  1,497 reviews

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" We all can dance when we find music that we love." This is practically a life motto of mine. I feel dancing can fix the world. We should force our government to dance all the time and they would be better policy makers. Anyway.

I love Giraffes and I love dancing. So this was a match made in heaven. I adore this book. The giraffe can really dance and boggie. It got the kids laughing as well. They enjoyed the book too. We all had fun with this. I got a little on a soap box and spoke of never maki
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating illustrations and gripping narration!

There is nothing better to see than watching somebody do something that the entire world thought they can't do it just because they didn't fit in the system.

It is amazing to see how this book teaches not to believe on the discouraging words people tell about you. Rather get inspired and tell the world that you can do it.
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
"Hey,look at clumsy Gerald, "
The animals all laughed,
"Giraffes can't dance, you silly fool,
Oh Gerald, don't be daft!"

Gerald the giraffe longs to dance, but his legs are too skinny and his neck is too long. At the Jungle Dance, the warthogs waltz, the chimps cha-cha, and the lions tango. "Giraffes can't dance," they all jeer when it's Gerald's turn to prance. But with some sound advice from a wise cricket, Gerald starts swaying to his own sweet tune.

The littlies will love this story purely for
Mariah Roze
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read this back in college and remember that my students loved it.
April Thompson
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
We all can dance, when we find music that we love
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: four-star
One of the better touch and feel books aimed at young children; I liked the fact this book was big enough for my son to hold comfortably - and of course the textured areas on the pages meant there was greater space to feel!

My son particularly enjoyed the furry lion and the soft paws!
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
A wonderfully illustrated, fun tale depicting an important message through Gerald, the giraffe. All the jungle animals have their own specialty dance except poor Gerald. Their teasing and bullying has Gerald feeling sad and bad about himself. However, with a little advice and encouragement, he soon learns it's OK to be different and those who are just "Need a different song." Sashaying and boogying, Gerald finds his rhythm and shines.

My little grands love this story. The plot presents a great o
Lisa Vegan
May 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Lisa by: Abigail A. & Kathryn
I love the cover. It’s so colorful and charming. The story inside? Well, maybe I needed to bring my much younger self to the forefront. I like the message re dancing to one’s own drummer, being different being more than just okay but something to celebrate, to aim to do something that doesn’t seem to come naturally. All positive messages.

It’s colorful and fun and has some positive things to say. But, somehow, for some reason, I couldn’t get past the anthropomorphizing of these particular animals
May 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
I love giraffes and I love dancing--and I could tell by the cover art that giraffes CAN dance, despite the title ;-> This is a rather typical story of the main character feeling inadequate and made fun of by others who are "better" at a certain activity than he is--in this case, dancing--before discovering his own hidden talents at which point all the others are mighty impressed. But, the somewhat over-tired theme is made up for in the fun cast of characters (lions doing a tango, baboons dancing ...more
Dec 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Giraffes are one of my favorite animals so when I saw the cover of this one, I knew I wanted to read it. The message in Giraffes Can't Dance is that you shouldn't listen to others when they tell you that you can't do something. You should find your own way of accomplishing it. Gerald the giraffe learns that "we can all dance when we find music that we love."

The best part of this one for me, though, is the illustrations. If you've ever wanted to see warthogs waltzing, rhinos rock 'n' rolling, lio
I see this book a lot - in the bookstore, in the library, even at Target. I always admire the cover - it’s so bright, with the bold colors and cute. This is why (judging a book by its cover) I was so excited when my littlest reader wanted to read this.

What a great message within the story! Loved it! More kids should hear, and hopefully understand the message. It’s okay to dance to your own song. It’s okay to be different. Love, love, love it, and so did both of my little readers.
Nov 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This children book recites the story of young giraffe Gerald through a series of marvelous illutrations .

When all the jungle animals gothered to show their dancing talents ,poor Gerald was bullied about his lack of talent .

This book depicted a great message about respecting other parties differences and finding ones own rythm.
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Anddddddd that isn't true. This giraffe is breaking all the stereotypes. Loved it very much!
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this. Beautiful illustrations and great story.
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
I was of course drawn to this book because it's about a giraffe, but fortunately it doesn't end there.

This is the story of Gerald the giraffe who is very good at standing still and munching leaves off trees, but "when he tried to run around / He buckled at the knees." Every year the animals held a jungle dance, the biggest do of the year, and the animals pull out all the stops:

The warthogs started waltzing
And the rhinos rock'n'rolled
The lions danced a tango
Which was elegant and bold.

The chimps
Apr 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Whether on display in a book store, library, or classroom, Giles Andreae’s Giraffes Can’t Dance is sure to catch the eyes of readers young and old. The bright and bold cover art by Guy Parker-Rees grabs your attention and consequentially has you grabbing the book. It is that same art that will captivate your young readers. Parker-Rees’ humorous watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations compliment the magical story about a knobby-kneed, clumsy-legged giraffe that has trouble getting his moves righ ...more
Alexis Caudill
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-summaries
1. Book summary, in your own words (3 pts)
Every year in Africa the animals hold the Jungle Dance. Every animal had a dance and they were all quite good. Gerald the Giraffe on the other hand was very clumsy and was sad because he thought he was really bad at dancing. All the animals make fun and laugh at him so he doesn’t try to dance. Gerald meets a cricket who proves himself and all of the other animals wrong.
2. Grade level, interest level, lexile (1 pt)
This book good probably be read by studen
Sep 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
"We all can dance", he said, "when we find music that we love"

This book is not really new, but it's a good one. I thought a reminder would be a good idea.

Poor Gerald! His legs get tangled when he tries to dance! He is so ashamed and sad at the animals dance... But the magic of a cricket's violin will make Gerald dance as in a dream!

Giraffes can't dance is written in verse and illustrated in colorful pictures. I'm again posting a book with the message of knowing your own skills to excel in what y
Ms. Arca
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved the rhyming pattern and the message. Cute book!
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading this with my children since my eldest was small. He'll be 15 soon! Three more children later and I'm reading with my four year old.
It never gets old.
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a brilliant story and makes me remember the sheer excitement of exploring the world of exotic animals and the exciting places they lived. The story uses colourful illustrations and a rhythmical storyline which provides a musical and fast paced feel.

The story is about a giraffe called Gerald who lives in the African plains of Kenya. The plains are filled with lively animals who just love to dance. Funny illustrations of waltzing warthogs, rock ‘n’ rolling rhinos and tangoing lions gives
Jessica Hall
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Gerald the Giraffe was very good at ‘standing still and munching shoots off trees'. However, what Gerald wanted to be good at, but was most definitely not, was dancing. At the annual Jungle Dance the warthogs did the waltz, the rhino’s did the rock and roll and the chimps did the cha cha cha. But Gerald simply froze on the dance floor, to the amusement of his friends that were shouting 'Giraffe's can't dance!'.
A somewhat sad and lonely Gerald found himself gazing up at the bright shining moon, l
Heather Elliott
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Giraffes Can’t Dance is an eloquently written and wonderfully illustrated fantasy book about a Giraffe named Gerald who doesn’t think he can dance. Each year, the Jungle Dance is held. Gerald is nervous because he isn’t confident and when he tries to dance, all the other animals make fun of him. Feeling beaten down, Gerald leaves. However, Gerald bumps into a cricket who encourages Gerald to try again. Gerald learns that people march to the beat of their own drum, and sometimes someone just need ...more
Maggie Ollmann
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Personal Response
I thought the book, Giraffes Can’t Dance, was a good book for little ones ages three to six to hear. I thought it was a cute book as I read it to my sister. My sister, Nora, who is five, thought this book was really good. One thing Nora enjoyed the most was the pictures of all the animals. She wanted me to read it to her again and again.

There was a dance party in the African jungle. When Gerald got there, he was told by the other animals he could not dance. He was sad and l
Sheena O'connell
Dec 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Giraffes Can’t Dance
This is a beautifully illustrated book about a Giraffe called Gerald who lives in the Jungle. Gerald is long, skinny and bandy knees and as a result of this poor Gerald can’t dance and the other animals in the jungle make fun of Gerald for been different and not being like him. Geralds struggles to fit in. This is a great book to convey the message of inclusion and friendship to younger children. From this heart-warming book they discover that even though tour different or ca
This is a book about Gerald the giraffe who "can't dance" and all the other African animals at the Jungle Dance (where warthogs waltz and lions tango) make fun of him. Gerald begins to believe that maybe they are right, that maybe he is just useless. Until he happens upon a cricket who shows him another point of view:

"Excuse me!" coughed a cricket
who'd seen Gerald earlier on.
"But sometimes when you're different
you just need a different song."

I'm quite impressed with most of the rhymes in this b
Feb 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I liked this book having read it many times. Giraffes can’t dance is about a giraffe called Gerald. Gerald lives in the jungle with all the other jungle animals and every year there was a jungle dance but all the other jungle animals would make fun of him as Gerald was long skinny and can’t dance. Gerald meets a cricket in the jungles who introduces him to different kind of music and Gerald finds music that he can dance to. All of a sudden he found that he was able to dance. All the animals were ...more
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fantastic book! It was the title of the book which first captured my attention and I decided I wanted to read it. The book uses a lot of colourful illustrations throughout which will be sure to capture every child’s attention/imagination. The moral of the story is that we should not judge anyone on face value and I think this would be a useful book to introduce to children as young as 4 years old especially if any pupils in your class are experiencing bullying/prejudices.

The story uses n
Chloe Avery
Jan 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Giraffes Can't Dance.

Gerald is a giraffe that has always wanted to be a dancer but believed he couldn’t because of his skinny legs and long neck. Once a year a dance was held in the jungle which all the animals would attend but Gerald never participated as everyone told him giraffes cannot dance. One night Gerald meets a cricket that encourages him that he can dance he just needs to find the right song. The cricket tells Gerald to listen to the music around him the movement of the trees and the
May 01, 2012 rated it liked it
This vividly illustrated picture book tells the story of Gerald, a tall and beautiful giraffe who hates his gangly legs, bandy knees and his inability to dance. At the annual Great Jungle Dance, the event Gerald had been dreading, he finds himself being jeered at by waltzing warhogs and cha-cha-ing chimps. As Gerald slips off into the darkness with his head hung in shame, he meets a wise cricket who teaches the giraffe that we can all dance, some of us just need a different song.

This story is a
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Giles Andreae is the author of several children's books, including the best-selling Giraffes Can't Dance, illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees. He is the creator of Purple Ronnie, one of the most successfully licensed cartoon characters in his native England.

Giles lives with his wife and three children in Notting Hill, England.

News & Interviews

From independent presses, to tales in translation, to critical darlings and new debut novels, these books (all published in the U.S. this year)...
13 likes · 1 comments
“We all can dance," he said, "when we find music that we love.” 11 likes
“But sometimes when you're different
You just need a different song”
More quotes…