By: David A. Ufer
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing
Publication Date: March 2007
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: March 23, 2010
On the African savannah many animals could be seen lounging in the sun or grabbing a bite to eat. Some were nibbling at the grasses or, in the case of the giraffes, curling their tongues around the branches of trees to pull the tender leaves into their mouths. Regrettably, there was one giraffe family who was having a problem. Their son, who was splayed out on the ground, had a branch in his mouth. It must have been an embarrassment because no one had ever heard of a giraffe who “was afraid of heights.” This was a matter for a doctor to solve. They gave the boy a map and he was on his way …ground level of course, just above the grasses and the flowers. This was a very unusual case and only a doctor could help someone with such an unusual fear, very unusual indeed!
On his way to the doctor’s, the young giraffe ran into a velvet monkey who was “afraid of climbing trees.” They decided to walk together and as they were passing by a river they ran into yet another animal who was having a problem. There was a hippo, with great big tears running down his cheeks, who told them he was afraid of water. The giraffe and velvet monkey looked on with great sympathy and said, “We’re on our way to the village to see the doctor, too. Maybe we can find a way for you to go with us.” The three of them had to put on their thinking caps because getting across the river would be a real problem. The monkey was dangling his toes in the water when all of a sudden a crocodile was seen swimming toward him. Was the monkey going to end up being a tasty lunch for the crocodile? Would the three animals be able to help each other overcome their fears?
This charming story of three baby animals who conquer their fears together will delight the young child. Many children have little anxieties and fears, something that is quite normal, but as parents we are sometimes at a loss as to how to deal with them. Little stories such as this one, won’t cure a bit of anxiety, but will reassure a youngster that they aren’t the only ones who have them. The story was simply delightful and the artwork was beautiful and quite complimentary. In the back of the book can be found some factual information on the animals in the book, including animal adaptations and fun facts. There are a couple of suggested activities, one of which includes a template for a mix-and-match-book.
Quill says: This delightful book that portrays three delightful animal pals who learn to overcome their fears together is one you might want to add to your list!