This story is so preposterous it might make you laugh out loud! That's what happened to me. It reminded me of how, when my daughter was little, sometimes a ridiculous thing would strike us funny and we'd laugh hysterically together.
Summary from the publisher:
Grab the best seat in the house with this funny, touching picture book about a giraffe who keeps being mistaken for a chair!
From the acclaimed author-illustrator of There’s a Giraffe in My Soup, Ross Burach, comes a curious tale about finding one’s courage and standing up for oneself. Full of vibrant and playful illustrations and hilariously absurd logic, kids will want to read it again and again.
Could there be anything worse for Giraffe? Maybe being sat on by a skunk or smooshed by two hapless hippos, or worst of all—cornered by a hungry lion? No one seems to notice that Giraffe is not standing around just to be sat upon. Will he be able to find his voice and make his friends realize who he really is?
I Am Not a Chair was written and illustrated by Ross Burach. It was published in 2017 by HarperCollins.
“On Giraffe’s first day in the jungle, he felt something wasn’t right.”
My Thoughts as a Writer:
This is a great book to study if you are learning about plot – the main character makes several attempts to solve his problem and there’s a fun twist at the end when the character finally does take the step that solves the problem. It’s also a great one to study for humor and pacing. I loved the personality of the main character . The text and illustrations worked together so well to tell the story. And then there was a deeper layer with a theme about speaking up for yourself. I think this book has many of the elements of a perfect picture book.
My Thoughts as a Teacher:
I thought this book would be too silly for me, but I was wrong. I really liked the underlying theme about speaking up for yourself. The way it’s done with animals is quite clever. The character of the giraffe really captures how a quieter, shy or nervous child feels, to the point of being nervous even about asking to go to the bathroom. I liked the line: “I need to be me.” Lots of discussion possibilities for young children. Of course, giraffes don’t live in jungles—but then they aren’t used as chairs, either.
Ages: 4 - 7
Grades: K - 2
Themes: sense of self, feeling afraid, individual differences, funny stories
Think of a time when you felt afraid but couldn’t speak up for yourself. How did you feel? Draw a picture or share in a discussion if you wish.
If there was another page to the story, what do you think the turtle would do or say? Draw your idea!
What is your favourite page in the story? Why?
The book trailer is a lot of fun: