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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
In a special zoo where animals were well fed and well cared for, Jerry Giraffe was getting too much food and gaining weight, while Zany Zebra was getting too little food and losing weight. Mr. Dennis, the zookeeper, was baffled, but, upon the advice of Harry Hyena, he caught Jerry Giraffe in the act of stealing from Zany Zebra’s food bin. Clever Mr. Dennis devised a plan to feed Zany Zebra more and Jerry Giraffe less, plus moving Zany Zebra’s food bin far away from Jerry Giraffe’s long neck reach. Soon Jerry Giraffe was getting hungry and started complaining. Do you think he understood what happened and why he was being fed less?
Dennis A Crumrin’s picture book story, Jerry Giraffe Gets Fat, is a clever way to explain a very significant line from the Book of Luke: “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” Children and animals have to learn these important lessons. So many lines in the Bible are complex and need further study, but, by using animals to play the roles of the one who takes and the one who is taken from, children will grasp the right and wrong being taught in this valuable lesson. The story is told simply for young readers to comprehend and follow along, perhaps reading along as well. The illustrations are bold and colorful. This story can be used interactively to encourage young readers to discuss what they learn. This would also be a good story to have children act out the parts to further emphasize the key points of the lesson. Beautifully told and presented.