Authors: Ken and Angie Lake
Illustrators: Vishnu Madhav and Joyson Loitongbam
Publisher: Sweet Cherry Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-78226-022-6

Little toy, hear this rhyme,
Let it take you back in time,
Tales of sadness or of glory,
Little toy, reveal your story.”
Robin’s grandpa casts his magic spell on the toy in Ken and Angie Lake’s story, Geraldo the Giraffe.

Targeted toward preschool to middle school aged children, this small paperback is part of “The Diaries of Robin’s Toys” ten-book series. With no scary or violent scenes, it is ideal to be read out loud to beginner readers due to some complicated words. Having different punctuation, capitalization, and spelling rules in the United Kingdom, the format may confuse American readers. Written on notebook-looking lined paper with easy-to-read font, the black and white illustrations by Madhav and Loitongbam are simplistic yet understandable.

In this tale, Robin was thinking about Caroline, a girl in his class who is overweight mainly because she does not eat healthy foods. Due to her appearance, she is often bullied at school.

Later that day, Grandad takes Robin to the car boot sale (similar to a swap meet in America), where the young boy is allowed to pick out a toy. He selects a toy giraffe. Grandad casts a special spell on it, knowing it has an interesting story to tell.

The giraffe says his name is Geraldo, and Robin asks why he was told he is an extra-special gourmet giraffe. The giraffe first tells them his breed usually is found on the plains of Africa in herds, and they eat leaves.

Geraldo explains he seems always to be hungry so he purchased a cookbook and started making the recipes. He began with scrambled eggs and progressed to tarts, curry, pies, trifles, and custard. Eating everything he made, he gained so much weight his feet could no longer reach the ground. He learned a lesson, lost the weight, and never abused eating again.

Learning from the giraffe, Robin recognizes that Caroline had been picked on by others so he became her friend. He invited her over for a healthy meal, which she loved. The girl changed her eating habits and started to exercise, losing extra pounds.

By teaching not to make fun of others, this book not only focuses on encouraging others, it provides information on giraffes that is fun and interesting. Children will enjoy reading how a toy’s story reveals engaging educational information while teaching an important lesson.

Thanks to the publisher and Bookpleasures for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.