This lively collaboration by the creators of Make Your Mark, Franklin Roosevelt highlights a unique historical episode, following a 19th-century giraffe, a gift from the viceroy of Egypt to Charles X, as she journeys from Africa to France. Fanciful flourishes fill Spencer's watercolor, gouache and ink art: after being captured in the wild, Zarafa perches on a camel as it carries her to a Sudanese village; she patiently tolerates costumed monkeys climbing on her neck while sailing down the Nile to Alexandria; and she pops her head through a freshly cut hole in the deck of the ship that brings her across the Mediterranean to France. There, over time, the affable animal finishes the trip on foot, accompanied by a pair of handlers, Hassan and Atir (as well as scientist Geoffrey Saint-Hillaire), cheered by admiring crowds along the way ("Hundreds-no, thousands-of visitors came to see Zarafa in the King's Garden.... Zarafa had been more that a gift to the king. She had also been a gift to the people of France"). St. George's breezy, conversational text ("Was she worn out? Not Zarafa!") moves this voyage along briskly. Ages 6-8. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Zarafa: The Giraffe Who Walked to the Kingby Judith St. George, Britt Spencer
Zarafa is a beautiful and gentle giraffe . . . so wonderful, in fact, that the ruler of Egypt offers her as a gift to the king of France! But how to get her there? Why, she sails up the Nile by felucca, crosses the sea by brigantine, and, yes, walks the last five hundred miles to Paris. People love it. And they love her, meeting and greeting her along the/i>
Zarafa is a beautiful and gentle giraffe . . . so wonderful, in fact, that the ruler of Egypt offers her as a gift to the king of France! But how to get her there? Why, she sails up the Nile by felucca, crosses the sea by brigantine, and, yes, walks the last five hundred miles to Paris. People love it. And they love her, meeting and greeting her along the way, cheering her on. Afterward, the grateful French king places Zarafa in his own royal garden, where all of Paris comes to visit and love her. Judith St. George (So You Want to Be President?) brings this amazing?but true?journey to life with help from the whimsical art of Britt Spencer.
It is a long way from Africa to France, especially for a giraffe. Yet in 1824, young, comely Zarafa began the trek from her village-by felucca up the Nile to Alexandria, by sailing ship across the Mediterranean, and by walking 500 miles from Marseille, where she landed, to Paris, where she was presented to King Charles X as a gift from Muhammad Ali, the viceroy of Egypt. St. George relates this true event in a conversational style, drawing readers into the journey with anecdotes about Zarafa's likability and serene nature, regardless of the confusion often surrounding her. Seamlessly, the author weaves information into the story, telling how the giraffe was fed and cared for by her ever-present and loyal handler, Atir, and giving other details of her travels. Cheered everywhere she appeared, Zarafa became an instant celebrity. The king, charmed by his "enchanted gift," built a home for the giraffe in the King's Garden. Spencer takes full advantage of the spreads, offering background particulars while placing Zarafa at the center of the story. Rich, pleasing colors and expressive, animated lines add to the presentation. Children will enjoy this book, and teachers will find it a suitable link to studies on Africa and France, as well as to other animals that have experienced unusual lives.-Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA
Meet the Author
Judith St. George has published dozens of successful nonfiction books for children, including the Caldecott Medal-winning So You Want to Be President? and the historical Turning Point series, including You’re On Your Way, Teddy Roosevelt; Stand Tall, Abe Lincoln; and Take the Lead, George Washington. You can visit her online at www.judithstgeorge.com.
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