I am such a huge fan of sweet, adorable picture books with bright, captivating illustrations that both capture the attention and flow along the story to create an absolute picture book masterpiece that can be enjoyed throughout any age at all.
Neck & Neck is one of those super cute picture books that captivated me right from the front cover with the whimsical, bright illustration of a real giraffe up against a balloon giraffe. While at first I had absolutely no idea what the book was going to be about (I forgot about from the time I read the synopsis until I checked out the book), I knew I was going to love this fun and exciting standalone picture book from the author/illustrator of a well loved series.
I was right – not only did I love this book, it captured that attention of both my daughters – ages eight and five. The two of them got really excited when they saw the book when it came in the mail, and were really happy when I sat down to read it to them. They laughed, they smiled, and they asked questions – proving it was a truly engaging book for children of all reading levels (and adults, too!).
Leopold the giraffe is one of the favorite exhibits at the zoo. Children come from all around to talk to him, see him, feed him snacks, and interact with him – and boy, does Leopold love all of that attention! He loves being in the spotlight!
So, when one child comes to visit him and brings along something new – a balloon that looks just like a giraffe head – Leopold feels a bit…betrayed. The children comment on how cute the balloon is, how it smiles all the time, how it smells better than Leopold, and how they don’t have to keep feeding it! Leopold is hurt, and tries to show the balloon up – even going as far as to pop the balloon to make sure that everyone knows that the is the one and only giraffe at the zoo! However, things don’t go according to plan, and Leopold really does find himself neck and neck with a giraffe balloon – and he might not be the winner!
This cute book is so much fun – I really fell in love with the story. It’s got really amusing prose to go along with the brightly colored illustrations, and I have to say that I’m going to be adding this one to my favorites shelf in terms of picture books.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review – thank you!
Elise Parsley studied drawing and creative writing at Minnesota State University Moorhead. During college, Elise also volunteered over 1800 hours promoting literacy through an AmeriCorps academic enrichment program. Now she promotes literacy through writing and illustrating children’s books.
Elise is the Illustrator Coordinator for the Dakotas Region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She spends a lot of her time telling aspiring writers and illustrators to join the SCBWI and get involved with a local critique group or two. Elise and her family live in Beresford, SD.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of NECK & NECK, US Only.
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