Monday, March 28, 2016

The Oxpecker and the Giraffe - I Need You and You Need Me

by Patrick Fitzpatrick
illustrated by Tim Newcombe
32 pages / 3013

Giraffe is tired of his near-constant companion, the Oxpecker bird and wants him to go away. Or as he says it in the book:
You're always climbing on my skin.Your company is wearing thin
You are nothing but a pest
Fly away and let me rest.
But Oxpecker knows something Giraffe doesn't: "I need you and you need me." It turns out that the Oxpecker feeds itself by eating the blood-sucking bugs that want to take a chunk out of Giraffe. That keeps Oxpecker's tummy full, but also keeps Giraffe with a lot lets mites and such trying to turn him into lunch.

So this is a story of interdependence, and because this comes from creationist Christians the authors take the opportunity to point out how such interdependence should point us right to God. Or, as Giraffe's friend Rhino puts it:
We need them, and they need us
Why the worry? Why the fuss?
God has made us by design,
So our lives must intertwine.
This is a fun story, with vibrant pictures and a nice rhyming rhythm to it. It is intended as an educational book, and as such it is fantastic; it not only teaches but entertains too.

But evaluating it simply as a picture book – evaluating it on an entertainment scale – then it is good rather than great. Our under 6 kids enjoyed it, and we had a good talk about it, but there are other picture books they do like more. So this one might be an ideal one to get out of the library (it would be a great addition to any school library).

If you want to buy it, you can do so at by clicking here or at here.

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