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How to be a Giraffe

A story of belonging, resilience, and embracing our unique qualities. Jeffrey might have horns, a tail, and a long neck, but his stripy fur is causing quite the stir. Everyone knows that giraffes have spots!  But if Jeffrey isn’t a giraffe, what could he be? Lots of fun to read aloud, this charming and heartfelt picture book celebrates the joy of embracing who we are.

Feeling a sense of belonging is central to Jeffrey’s journey in How to Be a Giraffe. When we first meet Jeffrey, he has been ridiculed by his herd, who describe Jeffrey’s stripes as absurd. They question whether Jeffrey really is a giraffe, causing him to feel sad and alone. Jeffrey then sets out to find a home for himself with other animals who might be more like him. Whether it’s a herd of elephants or a pride of lions, Jeffrey doesn’t find anyone who looks, behaves, or thinks like he does. Eventually, he realizes that he may be different, but he is perfect just the way he is — tall, gentle, friendly, brave, quiet, and kind. Happily, his herd see their error, apologize, and welcome Jeffrey back. 

Jeffrey’s confidence in himself provides a rewarding and inspiring message for young readers: embrace your unique qualities and share them with the world!

Thea Baker was born in Somerset, UK. She studied illustration at Falmouth University and graduated with a BA hons. She moved to Brisbane with her Australian husband in 2005 and now lives and works on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. Despite her close proximity to the sea, Thea neglects to take advantage of offers to explore the bay by boat. Aside from Shanks’ pony, she finds a car a much more acceptable mode of transport although she is by no means a petrol head.