by Dianne Hofmeyr
illustrated by Jane Ray
Frances Lincoln, 2014. Picture Book
In 1824 a baby giraffe was captured in Africa. The king of Egypt decided she should be a gift to the king of France. He arranged for the giraffe and a servant boy, Atir, to make the long journey to Paris. Atir named the giraffe Zeraffa and the two of them traveled for two years, walking the last 550 miles, to reach their destination, the King's pleasure gardens. When they arrived, Zeraffa, the first giraffe ever seen in France, made a sensation throughout the country. This engaging story, based on a real historical incident, it told with fluid, translucent prose. Ray's lovely watercolor illustrations are done in rich, warm colors and do a good job of communicating the mood and setting of the story. This is an delightful informational book for parents and children to explore together.