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Tall Blondes: A Book about Giraffes Hardcover – August 1, 1997


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Tall Blondes: A Book about Giraffes + Nature: Tall Blondes + Giraffe Reflections
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (August 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0836227697
  • ISBN-13: 978-0836227697
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #621,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A tall blonde herself, ABC correspondent Sherr became fascinated with giraffes during a 1973 trip to Africa. Subsequent visits fueled her interest and led to this book, a felicitous blend of history, biology and anthropology that starts in prehistoric times and runs to the present. Nearly half of the book consists of giraffe-related quotations from travelers, historians, scientists, hunters and others. We learn that there are nine subspecies of giraffes (they can interbreed); that the giraffe is highly sociable; that its chief predators are lions and hyenas. Sherr describes the giraffe's remarkable physiology and its gentle nature. She tells stories of some famous giraffes, including Daisy Rothschild, a pet raised by a family in Kenya, and the giraffe kept in a Florentine zoo in the late 15th century by Lorenzo de Medici. With so much popular literature devoted to lions, elephants and apes, it's about time someone has written a modern paean to the giraffe--and such a graceful one, too. Color illustrations throughout.

Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Sherr was an ABC correspondent when she visited Africa in 1973 and fell in love with the liquid eyes and long lashes of the giraffe. She characterizes her book as a "cultural history" of these animals and provides more literary and anecdotal information than scientific fact. Full-color illustrations are liberally used to illustrate key points in the text. Sherr looks at how the giraffe acquired both its name and its extravagant neck, what it must be like to "grow up giraffe," and famous giraffes. Most pages contain at least one quotation from early travelers to Africa or present-day conservationists. A little bit fact, a little bit fiction, this work is an amusing look at a popular species. Readers will acquire a new appreciation for the physical adaptations of this seeming aberration of nature. Recommended for larger natural history collections or communities located near zoological gardens.?Edell Marie Schaefer, Brookfield P.L, Wis.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

If you collect giraffes you'll defintely want this book!
konacoffee
Filled with great stories and about as "giraffey" as you can get.
Clayton E. Leihy
It has wonderful illustrations that complement and enhance the reading.
RiverGiraffe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By M. Thakery on April 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a Clinical Massage Therapist (for both humans and non), and the only captive/agressive (animal) TTouch practitioner in my state, I do a lot of volunteer work at my local Zoological park. I'm never quite sure what I'll be working on when I go out, so I like to pick up info on various animals when I can and just read ahead. When I placed my order, I was looking for a little more scientific data, but even without the clinical research I was most pleased with what showed up at my door!
Ms. Sherr's sincere passion for the creature is evident on every page, and the book itself is simply a pleasure to hold and read. It has a nicely designed slick cover and the binding is top-notch. This book will last for ages if taken care of, but as appealing as the images have been to my daugher, I have to keep a close eye on it.
There are interesting facts, and some fiction is dispelled. There's tons of history and beautiful pix on every page.
No, the book is not the end-all be-all of information, but it is well worth the price, and there are even a few used ones for sale above (though not mine. . . you can't have it. . . just back awaaaaay from the book.)
I highly recommend this book for anyone with a passing interest or even a non-veterinary passion for the animal!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By RiverGiraffe on October 21, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book contains the most captivating journey through the history and lives of giraffes that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. As a giraffophile myself, I was amazed at the extent of new, fascinating information contained within each page. It has wonderful illustrations that complement and enhance the reading. "Tall Blondes" is a must-have for every giraffe lover; it's a graceful, distinctive work that is truly deserving of its unique subject matter.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The personality of the giraffe is seen throughout this book. I wish humans could learn from the giraffe's peace in his world, the eye contact, the sharing, the adaption to the world as it is. Lynn Sherr has had the best opportunity in the world. All I want to know is "Can I go to Nairobi and pet the giraffes too? Excellant Book. You will love it!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 18, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This was one of the best books that I have read recently. It was a page turning, making you cry and laugh out loud! It's easy to understand why people for centuries have been in awe of the great giraffe. But be prepared once you finish this book, to jet off to Africa so you can meet these wonderful creatures in person!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Enjolras TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Oddly enough, there aren't many adult books on giraffes (especially when compared to the books about elephants). Lynn Sherr's book "Tall Blondes" fills that gap somewhat, but not completely. The book is largely a collection of anecdotes about giraffes, more about man's interaction with giraffes rather than the animals themselves. For most of the book, Sherr simply reprints contemporaneous letters, news articles, and other documents rather than providing narrative. Sometimes, this gets repetitive, especially when reading the 10th 19th century letter exclaiming how odd giraffes are. On the other hand, the book does have some gems, such as the story of Victor, the giraffe in England who slipped and was stuck spread eagle for several days.

This book isn't enough to satisfy most giraffephiles. I'd personally love to have learned more about giraffe biology, evolution, and ancestors. However, Sherr's book is really one of the only ones out there. It will show you that you're not alone in your fascination with these Pleistocene beasts.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 2, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I have loved the gentle giraffe since I was a small child, so naturally I was thrilled when I found out about this book. Never have I read such a captivating book such as this one! Even if you do not love the giraffe, you will love this book! It is a must read for any nature lover!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 5, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I was delighted when I received this book as a gift. The illustrations are superb. No giraffe collection is complete without it!
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Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book in the late 1990s when it first came out. It's sat on my bookshelf collecting dust ever since. I was initially attracted to it because: (a) I love, love, LOVE the clever title and (b) what maniacal person wouldn't like giraffes? They're such docile, interesting mammals. I figured one day I'd like to learn more about them, and this book should probably cover it. I also like how the book isn't traditionally shaped, it's long and slender, much like its four-legged subject.

So, after years of Tall Blondes gathering dust on my bookshelf, I finally decided it was time to read something completely different from a fictional novel or biography. If someone asked me what my favorite animal was, I probably wouldn't immediately think of or say "giraffe." I'm not obsessively crazy about giraffes, but upon much pondering, I think they're pretty fascinating and beautiful creatures.

Unfortunately, this book didn't provide me with the excitement for giraffes for which I was hoping. It felt like reading someone's research paper or dissertation. It was a compilation of anything and everything giraffe that's ever been said, written, or drawn throughout history. It contained quote after quote after quote, without much being written by the author herself to engage the reader. There also wasn't much coherence or chronological order to the chapters. Although this book was released in 1997, its contents would be the equivalent of someone Googling the word "giraffe" and reading through all of the results in the random order in which they're presented on the screen.
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