Illustrations – Matt Cosgrove
I’ve read this book at least five times but haven’t known what I’ve wanted to say before now. Today I was reminded of the importance of laughter when things aren’t going smoothly. As a result I’ve appreciated Celeste’s humour much more than I have during previous reads.
When Celeste the giraffe compares herself with the other animals she doesn’t think she’s good enough. She can’t roar like a lion. She’s not as fast as a cheetah. Each time she tries to imitate another animal she fails.
Eventually she realises that while she will never be a good snake, rhino, monkey or other animal, she is uniquely qualified to be herself.
The rhythm flows well most of the time and of course this book includes the requisite fart joke:
‘Maybe I could be a fish! I’m great at blowing bubbles!’ But the bubbles came out the other end, which started MAJOR TROUBLES.
Matt Cosgrove’s illustrations are adorable, bringing out the humour of Celeste’s attempts to mimic the other animals. The animals are all very expressive and the colours are vibrant.
My favourite Celeste expression comes when she crashes into a tree. I have a soft spot for the innate cuteness of an animal sticking its tongue out. Don’t worry; she’s okay!
If I was reading this book with a kidlet I don’t think I’d be able to resist pretending I was each of the animals in the book and encouraging them to do the same. I’m not saying that we’d be competing or anything, but I am saying I would win and would expect fits of giggles to ensue.
I’m definitely going to be recommending my librarians consider adding this book to the ones they read to local preschoolers. I think the kids would love it.
Once Upon a Blurb
Celeste was a friendly, happy little giraffe. She had a kind heart and she made others laugh. But Celeste sometimes worried that she wasn’t enough. It seemed like other animals did much cooler stuff. Join Celeste the Giraffe on her hilarious journey as she finds out what it is that makes her unique.