Giraffe's Big Night by Carrie Grant and David Grant

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Giraffe's Big Night by Carrie Grant and David Grant

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: A read-along book with bonus features, some of which add more value than others
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: January 2014
Publisher: Egmont
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1405258371

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To my generation, Carrie and David Grant are the slightly annoying couple from Pop Idol. True story – I asked at Cheer and based on my description of them (her with the bright red hair), that’s the adjective I got. For the next generation, however, they are a much loved duo from CBeebies and associated TV whatnot, and, now, the authors of a series of Jump Up and Join In books.

Giraffe’s Big Night is a book with a difference because like the others in the series it comes with a CD. So you have the option to read the book normally, read along with the narration on the CD, or join in with the song at the end Giraffe’s own number Gotta Be Ready. So let’s take those in order. The story is a sweet one: Giraffe has been offered the chance to sing at the Opera and she is Very Excited, but when she wakes up with a sore throat, her performance is put in doubt. Can her friends give her enough tips and support for her to pull through and get her voice back on track? There’s a clear theme of friendship and support, and lots of cute animals who all have nice, self-explanatory names even though the details are clear enough that it’s probably only Meerkat whose origins might otherwise be up for debate.

I read the book normally and then whacked on the CD in the car, much to the other half’s dismay. I like books on tape, though, and this one works well with expressive reading although their next page indicator is a bit OTT and distracting, when a simple When you hear this <<ping>> turn the page would have done quite nicely.

Finally, the song. This isn’t incorporated into the story so you can read the whole book without mentioning it if you wish. If you choose to go down the route of listening, be aware that it’s quite long and quite repetitive though not all that catchy to adult ears and with some non-exact rhymes

I got my friends
I can rely
I gotta get ready for tonight!

All things considered, I was quite liking this book until I left the CD running and on came track 5. Entitled Singling Safely it is guidance for doing just that and without wanting to sound too mean, it seemed liked Health and Safety gone mad. I mean, since when was singing, at a primary school level, a dangerous thing? All the books in the series have an extra angle like this, but the others are things like relaxing, confidence and rhythm – an eclectic mix, but all things you might reasonably teach. The safety of singing, however, seems to do nothing more than put in something new for parents and teachers to worry about, needlessly, not least because it is endorsed by these singing professionals off the telly. Sigh. At that point I didn’t really know what to think.

If I were rating the book, I’d give it 4½ out of 5, but the CD and singing safely part only warrant a 2½ when I think of it with the children I known in mind, so we’ll average out at a 3½ and call it even.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.

The Selfish Crocodile Book of Nursery Rhymes by Faustin Charles and Michael Terry and Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow, Lenny Lipton and Eric Puybaret also come with audible add ons.

Buy Giraffe's Big Night by Carrie Grant and David Grant at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Giraffe's Big Night by Carrie Grant and David Grant at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Giraffe's Big Night by Carrie Grant and David Grant at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Giraffe's Big Night by Carrie Grant and David Grant at Amazon.com.


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