Zeraffa Giraffa by Dianne Hofmeyr

Zeraffa Giraffa

Written by Dianne Hofmeyr
Illustrated by Jane Ray

5+ readers   Books vs Films   7+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

A giraffe in Paris! The idea sounds ridiculous but this beautiful picture book tells the true story of how the Pasha of Egypt sent a young giraffe called Zeraffa as a gift to the King of France. Captured on the plains of Africa, Zeraffa is too young to walk at first. Instead she is transported tied on to the side of a camel. From Africa Zeraffa, accompanied at all times by her Atir, a young boy who attends to her every need, travels by foot over land and briefly by sea when she must. Jane Ray’s illustrations bring alive every detail of the journey and Zeraffa’s triumphant welcome to Paris. They are especially entertaining capturing the ridiculous fashions that spring up around the city as everyone imitates all thing giraffe! ~ Julia Eccleshare

If you are a fan of Jane's artwork you will love her magical tale Ahmed and the Feather Girl, beautifully illustrated throughout with her detailed, fine drawings and vibrant use of colour. You can download an extract of it here.


Zeraffa Giraffa by Dianne Hofmeyr

This is the astonishing true story of Zeraffa, a giraffe who was sent as a gift from Egypt to France in 1826.

A young boy, Atir, takes care of Zeraffa on her epic journey and the sailors sing songs as she gazes down at them. In France, Atir leads her through the countryside, and thousands of people marvel at Zeraffa. Paris falls in love with Zeraffa. The King builds her a special house in the Jardin des Plantes. On warm nights, the young princess visits, while Atir whispers stories to Zeraffa of a hot land far away. The amazing story by an award-winning author of a giraffe's extraordinary voyage from Africa to Paris.

The story of Zeraffa the Giraffe has been animated and is out on release in October 2015.


'The stunning illustrations by Jane Ray are full of the most amazing and atmospheric detail and capture the feel of each stage of the journey. A wonderful book.' Parents in Touch

'An amazing story by an award-winning author' Independent School Parent

About the Author

Dianne Hofmeyr

Dianne Hofmeyr grew up next to the sea, on the southern tip of Africa, and has travelled just about everywhere in Africa since. Her father was a mapmaker - helping her to plot not only the stars and unfamiliar terrain but also the texture and smell of new experiences. Her writing is a result of journeys with notebook and camera through places like Eygpt, Tunisia and Zimbabwe. Her teenage fiction has won the prestigious M-Net Book prize, judged with adult fiction, the Sanlam GOLD for Youth Literature (twice), the Sanlam SILVER award, the YOUNG AFRICA AWARD, an IBBY HONOURS BOOK award and a YOUNG AFRICA award. In South Africa, 'The Waterbearer' has won the M.E.R. award and is currently shortlisted for the Sunday Times Book of the Year.

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Book Info


40 pages
Interest Age: From 3


Dianne Hofmeyr
More books by Dianne Hofmeyr

Author's Website



Frances Lincoln Childrens Books an imprint of Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd

Publication date

3rd September 2015




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