Created: 14th August, 2015

Zeraffa Giraffa

Author: Dianne Hofmeyr
Illustrator: Jane Ray
Publisher: Frances Lincoln

A picture book inspired by the true story of a giraffe sent as a gift to the King of France by the Great Pasha of Egypt in the 1820s. The exquisitely composed pictures show the different stages of the journey made by Zeraffa, accompanied by her keeper, the young boy Atir. They travel downriver in a felucca ‘to the place where the sea sipped up to the Nile’ and cross the sea under a star-filled sky. On arrival in Marseilles, it becomes apparent that the only practical way to get Zeraffa to her destination is to walk the 550 miles to Paris where she becomes much admired and inspires some extraordinary fashions.

The story ends on a note of connectedness between Europe and Africa. This beautiful book could form the basis for children to explore the landscapes, cultures and environments through which Zeraffa passes and map out her journey.

Also by this author and illustrator: The Glassmaker's Daughter (9781847806772), Frances Lincoln £7.99