4 out of 4 stars
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Little Antoinette is moving from Scotland to Tanzania, where she is overjoyed at the prospect of seeing exotic animals. But one, in particular, holds a special place in her heart—the giraffe! Once her parents pick her up from the airport, they get into a jeep that will take them through the national park. She marvels at the sights—elephants, cheetahs, even lions. But where are the giraffes? Despite the magnificent animals, Antoinette’s heart begins to sink with every moment that goes by. Will she ever see the giraffe?
Antoinette and the Story of the Invisible Giraffes by Alison McGregor is a charming children’s book about one little girl’s quest to spot her favorite animal. The book is told from the third-person perspective, following Antoinette as she is excitedly thrust into intriguing but unknown territory, where her imagination propels her.
My favorite thing about the book was the author’s choice to use rhyming to tell the story. I felt this provided another layer of interest and cheerfulness. Moreover, the book was chock-full of descriptive words to describe the animals’ appearance and demeanor. For example, the “zigzagging” stripes of the zebras and addressing the elephant as a “grump” made the illustrations come to life.
The story taught an important lesson about patience, an essential skill for children to hone. Antoinette had to be patient if she wanted to see any giraffes, and even though it was difficult, she fared just fine. In today’s world, where gratification is instant, children must learn that anything worth seeing/having is worth waiting for.
Another thing to be celebrated about the book was the cheerful, vivid illustrations that buttressed the writing. Every page had engaging drawings, and the faces of people and animals were expressive, minimizing any potential for confusion. My favorite was the excitement displayed on Antoinette’s face when she was on the airplane.
The book had nothing to dislike, and the editing was flawless, with no errors to report. It is my pleasure to give the story a rating of four out of four stars because of the clever rhyming, vibrant pictures, and learning opportunity. I recommend the book to kids (and their parents!) who enjoy reading about animals and traveling.
Antoinette and the Story of the Invisible Giraffes
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