LITERATURE GUIDE
Giraffes Can't Dance
by Giles Andreae
illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees 

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Themes: S.T.A.R. Power, Self-Worth, Celebrating Diversity, Teasing 

Grade: pre-K – 5

Story Synopsis: Every year in Africa, all the animals get excited for the big Jungle Dance. But this year, Gerald the Giraffe is nervous because he thinks he’s not a very good dancer. Though he longs to dance, his crooked knees and thin legs make it rather hard for him to do so. When Gerald attempts to join the dance party anyway, the other animals laugh at him, call him names and remind him that “Giraffes can’t dance!” Feeling sad and rejected, Gerald meets a wise cricket who teaches him to believe in himself and find his own song to help him become the dancer he always dreamed he could be. 

Why We Love This Book: You can tell from the illustration on the cover that there is something colorful and magical inside the pages of this book. This charming, rhyming story teaches that we can’t always believe what others may think of us; self-worth comes from believing in ourselves. This book also reminds us how helpful it can be to share some encouraging words with a friend. Students will be delighted as they watch Gerald somersault through the air, and will be inspired to find their own inner song as well.


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