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Zeraffa Giraffa

Written by Dianne Hofmeyr

Illustrated by Jane Ray

Featured Books for 5+ readers Featured Books for 7+ readers

LoveReading View on Zeraffa Giraffa

One of our Books of the Year 2014  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! 

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.

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Zeraffa Giraffa Synopsis

Jane Ray's wonderful illustrations accompany the amazing true story of Zeraffa the Giraffe and her travels from her home in Africa to Europe, sent as a gift by the Ottoman Viceroy of Egypt to King Charles X of France in 1826.

A young boy, Atir, takes care of Zeraffa on her epic journey, by felucca down the Nile, and by ship across the sea. Zeraffa grows so tall that a hole is cut in the deck for her neck to go through, 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 in her yellow taffeta cloak. The whole of Paris falls in love with Zeraffa. The King builds her a special house in the Jardin des Plantes. On warm nights, the young princess, granddaughter of the king, visits and listens while Atir whispers stories to Zeraffa of a hot land far away, and on the breeze they all feel the kiss of Africa.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781847806611
Publication date: 03/09/2015
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Childrens Books an imprint of Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781847803443
Publication date: 03/04/2014
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Childrens Books an imprint of Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781847803443
Publication date: 3rd April 2014
Author: Dianne Hofmeyr
Illustrator: Jane Ray
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Childrens Books an imprint of Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd
Format: Hardback
Suitable for: 5+ readers, 7+ readers

About 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 ...

More About Dianne Hofmeyr

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