Gugu Giraffe

Goes Fishing

Children - Adventure
48 Pages
Reviewed on 05/09/2024
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Highly recommended by US Book Reviews and first place 2024 recipient of the Pencraft Award fin the category of Children's Fables, Auralee Arkinsly writes in good humor about serious subjects because kids of all ages can learn a lot from laughing. Since opposites exist, she believes children can learn to identify the nature of things and get out of a risky situation. "Good Laughter sparks the mind." She reckons if she can save some from the bumps and bruises, then she has done a good day's work.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Philip Van Heusen for Readers' Favorite

Gugu Giraffe Goes Fishing by Auralee Arkinsly is a wonderful book for any child who is a budding scientist, biologist, zoologist, conservationist, or naturalist. As a former high school biology teacher, I wish all my former students had this book as children. The information shared on a child’s level is a great foundation for future environmentalists. Gugu Giraffe is from Botswana in Southern Africa and introduces young readers to the variety of wildlife near the Okavango River and the Kalahari. In Gugu’s goal of meeting a fish, he learns about the differences between birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish. This exciting book will thrill children as it teaches biological differences in animals. Many fun and fascinating facts will encourage children to study wildlife further. This is probably the best children’s book for budding biologists I have ever seen.

What makes a fish a fish or a giraffe a giraffe? In Gugu Giraffe Goes Fishing by Auralee Arkinsly, young readers will learn some distinctions between different animals. Auralee brings scientific concepts down to the K-3rd grade level so children grasp that every type of animal is unique. Yolanda van Heerden does a masterful job of illustrating this story. Children will laugh at the humor and be amazed at the facts as they learn about biology. I remember the first time I saw a cormorant in the wild. If your child has not seen any of these animals in the wild, talk to them about the animals they have seen in a zoo and the species native to where you live. Discuss biodiversity with your child and why it is so important to do what we can to protect the environment and keep these animals alive. If I could give this book six stars, I would.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Gugu is a giraffe with a very inquisitive mind. In Auralee Arkinsly's Gugu Giraffe Goes Fishing, this young giraffe with his very long neck, wants to see the world and learn as much as possible. His long neck allows him to eat leaves from high up in the trees and see great distances beyond the wilderness. But, when he hears about fish, he wants to learn more. What are fish? And where do they live? His fishing adventure begins as he follows his elephant friends to the Okavango River in Botswana. He ends up in some funny situations, but the learning is all worth the effort.

Auralee Arkinsly’s picture book, Gugu Giraffe Goes Fishing, is a fun-filled fable that will entertain young readers while teaching them about animal biology, plant life, weather, water creatures, geography and so much more. The language is simple so young readers can easily follow along or read for themselves and improve their reading skills. It is organized into short chapters, making this an easy-to-read early chapter book. The illustrations by Yolanda Van Heerden are bright, bold, and colorful and help move the story along. It is told like a fable or fairy tale with talking animals carrying on conversations and fostering friendships between species, illustrating that differences make us all unique in a good way. At the end of the book is a list of questions that can be used as a teaching guide so youngsters will get the most out of the story. Entertaining and educational – a great story.

Pikasho Deka

Hop on for a wild African safari with Gugu Giraffe Goes Fishing, written by Auralee Arkinsly and featuring illustrations by Yolanda Van Heerden. Gugu is a giraffe with a long neck, which he uses to reach the sweet thorns of tall acacia trees. Living in the Okavango Delta, also known as the Jewel of the Kalahari, Gugu is suddenly struck by the idea of fishing. Only he doesn't really know what a fish is. He asks Mama Chidinma, who encourages him to go on a Mokoro River safari with a poleman to see the fish in the Okavango River. Soon, Gugu is on his way. On this journey, he will encounter many animals, including a mama crocodile, a hippopotamus, a cormorant, a flock of butterflies, and a tigerfish. Now, he must return home and tell Mama Chidinma of his adventures.

Embrace the natural beauty of Botswana and meet different animals traversing the lands of Southern Africa with Gugu Giraffe Goes Fishing. Auralee Arkinsly offers readers an immersive picture book that entertains as well as offers educational information about the rich flora and fauna that inhabit the Okavango Delta. Through colorful illustrations and quirky characters, Auralee Arkinsly and illustrator Yolanda Van Heerden ensure you're enjoying each moment of this wildlife adventure. Gugu is an adorable giraffe who is simply hilarious at times. As a reader, you follow Gugu's journey as he searches for fish and learns about the different animals and their characteristics. The story is captivating and very informative. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Young readers will find a lot to love about this book.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Gugu Giraffe Goes Fishing by Auralee Arkinsly is the third book in the Auralee Arkinsly Picture Books for Early Readers Series. Gugu is so tall he can easily eat the leaves at the top of the tallest trees. When he sees Matriach Chidinma breaking a tree to get to the leaves, he decides to have a talk with her. During their chat, he announces that he wants to go fishing, and he asks her where he might go. Matriarch Chidinma invites him to join the elephant herd as they head to the Okavango River, where Gugu could get on a tourist boat to go fishing. Gugu has no idea what a fish looks like, but, along the way, he learns much about nature as he meets many different animals and birds and learns why they are not fish. Gugu had a lovely day out and learned so much, and you can, too, when you join Gugu on his adventure.

Gugu the Giraffe Goes Fishing is wonderfully illustrated by Yolanda Van Heerden. This adventure book teaches young readers about nature, plant life, animals, fish, and more. Kids will learn about lots of different African wildlife and plenty of cool facts they can astound their friends with. At the back of the book is a list of questions; the answers to some of them are included in the book. This is ideal for reading groups at schools and libraries, too. It’s entertaining and educational at the same time, and kids are more likely to remember what they learned in such a fun way. They’ll also learn why all animals, plants, fish, and birds are different. This is a wonderful, humorous, educational book by Auralee Arkinsly and highly recommended for kids everywhere; even adults might learn a thing or two.

Kristine Zimmerman

Gugu Giraffe Goes Fishing by Auralee Arkinsly is set in Botswana. Gugu is enjoying eating his delicious acacia leaves when he notices Chidinma, the elephant, ripping up one of the trees. He asks her why she does this instead of eating the leaves. She explains that elephants can't reach the leaves like he can, but they do enjoy the sweet, tender roots. Gugu explains that he would like to go on a fishing expedition, and so Mama Chidinma leads him to the Okavango River and the tourist boats. Gugu sets off in a dugout to see if he can find any fish. He meets many other creatures along the way and learns what makes them different from fish. Will Gugu find a fish?

Auralee Arkinsly's early chapter book, Gugu Giraffe Goes Fishing, is an informative tale filled with humor. The author has expertly woven facts and folktales into the story. Kids will enjoy learning along with Gugu about the different creatures that live in the Okavango River. The text is broken up into short chapters just right for those eager to graduate from easy readers. The soft watercolor illustrations by Yolanda Van Heerden bring the landscape and creatures of the Okavango to life. There is even a map showing the area of Africa where the story takes place. Kids will enjoy Gugu and his adventures in a part of the world that is less familiar to them. Gugu Giraffe Goes Fishing is an amusing early chapter book sure to keep kids entertained.