Edward the giraffe hates his neck. It has many things wrong with it, but essentially, it is just too necky. After looking at other animals’ necks, Edward meets Cyrus, who is pretty much neckless. Cyrus has always admired Edward’s neck, and when Edward helps Cyrus out with a problem involving a banana, they become firm friends and are both, for the first time, happy with their own necks.
Similar to Penguin Problems, also by Jory John and Lane Smith, this hilarious picture book is written from the giraffe’s viewpoint. While he hates being stared at for his long neck, he is oblivious to the fact that he is making other animals feel the same while discussing, and admiring, their necks. It is not until he meets Cyrus, the turtle, that he can appreciate his unique features.
The illustrative text works well with the written text, coming together as one. The use of framing and direction allow the story to flow well, dictating pace. The large fold-up page, showing the height of Edward’s neck, is impressive. This fold-up page and another double page spread where Edward’s neck is seen with multiple scarves and ties, force the reader to manipulate the book to cater for the size of Edward’s neck, reinforcing his plight.
This would make a brilliant read aloud for small or large audiences. Young children will enjoy the humour throughout, and I am sure will ask for repeated readings.
Read my review of Penguin Problems here.