Friday, August 31, 2012

Gordon The Giraffe by Bruce Brown (REVIEW)

While I don't read a lot of children's books, and my son isn't quite old enough to yet read them with me, I am always on the lookout for stories we can enjoy together when he is old enough to sit still (without eating the pages).

As certain as giraffes are tall, there are some who fear anyone that is different.

Gordon The Giraffe is the story of the hidden kingdom of Ugladunga, where children pair up (always one boy, one girl) to play the game of Mulunga Doo. When Gary ask him to play, Gordon is at first excited (nobody has ever before asked him), but ends up fleeing the taunts of the other children . . . straight to his mother, who tells him he must follow his heart. When Gordon goes looking for Gary, the other giraffes plan to teach him a lesson . . . but he ends up coming to their rescue instead.

Because giraffes have the biggest hearts of all the creatures. They can't help but love . . . even those that are a bit different.

This is a cute story, beautifully illustrated, with a subtle but heart-warming theme of acceptance at its core. Even thought Gordon is never branded as gay, the suggestion is there, backed up by his mother's understanding - and, more importantly, acceptance. While most children may not pick up on it, those who feel a bit different themselves - about anything - or those who may have parents that are a bit different will certainly appreciate the message.

She didn't know what to say at first, but when she looked into her son's saddned eyes she knew.

Well worth picking up for anybody who reads (or plans to read) to a child.

[Reviewed by Sally]

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