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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Yours Sincerely, Giraffe
by Megumi Iwasa
Age Range: 6-8
Giraffe lives in the African savanna, has everything he needs but as usual is very bored. He wishes he had a special friend who he could share things with. As Giraffe watches the sun go down he tries stretching his long neck to see what is beyond the savanna. He wonders what's on the other side and the sort of animals that live there. After seeing a sign hanging from a tree announcing a new mail service by a bored Pelican, Giraffe decides to write a letter for Pelican to deliver to the first animal he meets on the other side of the horizon.
Giraffe now has a Penguin pen-pal. He knows nothing about penguins so his letters are full of questions. What does a penguin look like? Where is a penguin's neck? After all, it's hard to imagine someone you've never seen before. Penguin is a student of Professor Whale of Whale Point School but he doesn't know what a neck is either and has never ever heard of Africa or a Giraffe!
Japanese author Megumi Iwasa has written a clever and witty tale, translated by award-winning translator Cathy Hirano, that is both absurd and endearing. The humorous misinterpretations are hilarious – each animal trying to understand what the other one looks like, whether they have a neck or not and why they might be different.
Yours Sincerely, Giraffe has sold over 40,000 copies with rights sold in seven languages. This is a story that will appeal to children. With the simple pen-and-ink line drawings and handwritten letters by Jun Takabatake, one of Japan's best-loved illustrators, readers will love Giraffe, Pelican and Penguin, their funny correspondence and Giraffe's enthusiastic interpretation of what a penguin looks like!