Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Giraffe and Bird

Bender, Rebecca (Author/Illustrator)
Cormorant Books 2010. 32 pages
First published: 2010
ISBN: 9781897151846 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, figurative language, recurring patterns

Award

The Forest of Reading – The Blue Spruce Award Winner – 2012

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This story is about two warring animals that just can’t get enough of each other.

Clear language and expressive type make this a great read-aloud book. The story recounts time-worn annoyances in a deadpan tone: “This makes the bird twitter in the giraffe’s ear. Tweet! Tweet! Tweet! That makes the giraffe invade the bird’s personal space.”

Densely coloured illustrations use subtle brushstrokes and markings, bringing painterly interest to cartoon-like drawings. In one spread, a series of spot drawings chronicle the pair’s descent into fisticuffs: the cute, round bird walks his wire with cast and crutch; a bandage covers the length of the giraffe’s neck. Against a gorgeous storm-laden sky, they go separate ways. The spread depicting the storm is wonderfully dramatic: white lightening cracks, the bird’s telephone wire is blown down and both animals huddle alone.

They are reunited when the giraffe acts as a replacement telephone pole and the bird returns to the wire. Soon they are fighting again, but their glaring eyes are belied by the bird’s comfortable pose, as it leans against the giraffe. With this funny, wise book, there is the opportunity for children to discuss annoyances in their own relationships.

  •  

    Based on the cover, are the two creatures friends or enemies? As you read, determine the page on which the relationship starts to change. Do you have a friend who was not a friend to start with, or with whom you argue a lot?

  •  As you read along, practise saying the onomatopoeias out loud with a friend. List them on an ongoing Onomatopoeia Anchor Chart. Try to incorporate one of the words from the chart into your next drawing or illustration.
  •  With a partner, write three pieces of advice you would give the bird and/or the giraffe to help them get along better. Share your ideas with the class.
  •  

    Invent a new ending, following the thunderstorm. Segment your ending into four or five pages and illustrate them. (Try adding those onomatopoeias.)

  •  

    Choral read the story in two class groups. The text could be read in either the third person or in two voices (with the addition of a narrator).

  •  As you read along, practise saying the onomatopoeias out loud with a friend. List them on an ongoing Onomatopoeia Anchor Chart. Try to incorporate one of the words from the chart into your next drawing or illustration.
  •  

    For each situation, discuss how Giraffe and Bird could get along better.

  •  

    Role play a situation in which peers or siblings are not getting along. Write the script, using expressions from the text. Include a positive resolution to the problem.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To solve problems
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Geography, History and Citizenship