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Giraffes Can't Dance
Format: Board book|Change
Price:$5.06+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

TOP 500 REVIEWERon December 27, 2016
I'm going to side with every other member of this book's fan club. I bought his because I have a beautiful little boy who has some very specialized challenges, and I loved the message this book sends...that you can be different, you can even not be good at certain things in other people's eyes, but there can still be something beautiful only you can contribute. And I want my son to know and to hear that message that just like Gerald the Giraffe, he's got a very special dance that he'll be able to do. And I want him to be able to see that it's possible too, because I know sometimes it can be hard, especially when you're in therapy all the time and therapy is all about what's not going well and what's not going like normal, so I truly think this book has great value especially for kiddos who may struggle to do things the way other people "normally" do. It sends a very nice "yes you can" message, and I love it.
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on October 29, 2015
There's a reason this book is a top seller, it's adorable! I first read this book in a toddler book club when I was a nanny, I now read this book to my own children. I have read this book probably a hundred + times (not an exaggeration) and I still love it. I haven't found a child who didn't like this book, it's so cute. Great story, nice colorful illustrations. I highly recommend this book!
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I was ready to love this book, but it was a flop.

My son loves a stuffed giraffe and always asks me to make it dance. SO what better book to buy for my son than a book about a dancing giraffe? When the book arrived, I was so excited and sat down to pre-read it before my son woke from his nap. Once, I finished reading the book, I had mixed feelings. Here is why:

1. The giraffe is bullied in the book and is labeled these words: a fool, weird, and clumsy. While saying these things, the animals sneered at the giraffe. The accompanying image to that text shows all the animals laughing as the giraffe comes to the dance floor. On the next page, when the giraffe leaves feeling hurt, defeated, and useless, no one cares about how they hurt him and all the animals continue to party/dance as if nothing wrong happened. That scene should have been done more delicately. The other animals could just have said something like "everyone knows giraffe's can't dance... they have knobby knees and long necks." Instead of using those extremely hurtful words.

2. The giraffe is only treated better by the other animals because he is after the party caught dancing in a field and in that moment is recognized as the best dancer. There is no apology for being mean to the giraffe earlier and the giraffe is only treated nicely because they know he can now dance. That sends a mixed message - you need to change to get acceptance. The nerdy girl needs to dress sexier to be accepted. The giraffe who cannot dance better take dance lessons. It is about earning kindness because of changing to please others. The book should have been focused on being yourself and that kindness should be given to everyone.

3. The ending or moral of the story could have saved this book, but instead it was oh so very weak and disappointing. All the animals want to know how the giraffe learned to dance and the answer was everyone can dance if you find the right music. What? Seriously after that harsh bullying and the giraffe feeling so broken and useless, finding the right music is the answer?

In the end, my husband and I are in agreement. The title of this book should have been "giraffes CAN dance" and it should ave focused on the positives, displayed good role models, and had a strong moral to the story. Because the truth is - everyone can dance, so whether one dances silly or serious, on beat or offbeat, following formal steps or going freestyle... everyone deserves to have the joy of dancing and the kindness from others.
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on February 6, 2018
Let me start by saying that I absolutely love this book, and so does my daughter. The rhymes are lovely (except for a slight break in rhythm on the very last one), the pictures are fun and full of great detail, and the story about finding oneself and not succumbing to peer pressure and stereotypes is great and important!

However... I really think the cricket does not get enough credit! In fact, Gerald almost becomes a bit cocky in the end, as if he had achieved this feat of realizing his potential all by himself, when, in fact, without the cricket he still wouldn't believe in himself. And here I think the book misses a great opportunity to emphasize the value of friendship, empathy, and helping others.

Luckily, this can be fixed very easily. I therefore added a final rhyme to the book that I think adds to the value. I hope others may find it useful as well. It goes as follows:

Just sometimes we need a friend to help,
to find out song and tune.
And to the cricket Gerald said:
I found mine, thanks to you!

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on August 27, 2015
I love this story, and the plush is a nice little added bonus to keep a very young child entertained while listening; however, as the other reviewer has stated, THIS IS NOT A BOARD BOOK. It is a hardcover with regular thin paper pages. Also, it's very tiny. If this were a board book, that wouldn't matter as much because of its intended purpose (very young children who handle the books themselves), but I can see that it will be a bit of a chore reading to my child with this teeny-tiny copy. Making it even more difficult, the small words overlay the pictures, which make them more difficult to see. I'll probably go ahead and purchase the full-sized version for when I read to her.
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on February 19, 2018
I bought this book to read to my grandchildren, but am disappointed because the message is so awful. Basically it's about how a person can be ostracized from a community for not being good enough not due to poor character, but due to not being able to perform for the group.
The main character, Gerald, can’t dance, so he is mocked and verbally abused by the other animals. This bullying treatment is never addressed. Instead Gerald learns that he can dance after all. Once he has proven that he can dance, the other animals accept him.
This shows children that people are not accepted and loved for who they are, but for whether or not they have the same abilities as the rest of the group. What a horrible message. It teaches conformance and group think.
I gave it 2 stars rather than 1, because the illustrations are beautiful and some of the story is sweet and encouraging. There have to be better books out there that teach it’s okay to be yourself and that diversity of thought and ability is welcomed to make us richer when the value of each person is added to our communities.
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on October 30, 2017
This is the cutest story and a great skill-builder.
It helps children with rhyming words, which are
so important for reading readiness. It is a great
vocabulary builder, introducing them to jungle animals which they may not be. It mentions
various types of ballroom dances and shows
funny illustrations of the animals performing them.
It also reinforces the lesson to believe in yourself
and it’s okay to be different.
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on January 18, 2018
I picked up this book based only on all it's great reviews...sadly I can't agree with them. It's a good 'moral of the story' type book (being that sometimes you just have to find your own groove) but I wasn't a fan of how they got there. I'm the type of parent that has no issue explaining to my son *why* some animals tease the giraffe, as I'm sure someone will be mean and tease him sooner or later, but it really wasn't needed in this story. The illustrations were nice, and I do like the sing song quality of the story but they missed the mark in my book.
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This is such a cute story! The book itself is a durable, high quality board book. The story is a bit long for babies or tiny toddlers to sit through, but my older 2 year old toddler can enjoy it (although he does get a bit antsy at the end.) The illustrations are very cute and the story rhymes which makes it fun to read and listen to. This is a cute story that I'm happy to add to our collection.
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on December 4, 2017
Adorable story, and love it in the smaller board book version as it is much easier for a young child to hold. Love the teachables in it, from learning to be ourselves and appreciating our own gifts, to helping others, and the importance of kindness. Wonderful story, great illustrations. I bought a bunch to give instead of cards at showers and birthdays. Cheaper than a card and always loved!
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