Written by Megumi Iwasa and illustrated by Jun Takabatake; Translated by Cathy Hirano
This international bestseller is an endearing illustrated chapter book about an African giraffe and his pen pal, a penguin.
Giraffe is bored, as usual. He'd love a friend to share things with. So he writes a letter and sends it as far as possible across the other side of the horizon. There he finds a pen pal—Penguin.
Giraffe knows nothing about penguins and his letters are full of questions. Where is a penguin's neck? Can a penguin fly? Penguin answers as best he can.
But no one expects what happens when the pen pals come face to face at last.
Yours Sincerely, Giraffe is a funny tale of mistaken assumptions and friendship from afar.
Hardcover, 104 pages. 8 x 5.7 inches.
"An extremely bored giraffe becomes curious about what lies on the other side of the horizon and recruits a pelican to be his own personal courier. The pelican, equally bored and eager for new business, offers to travel anywhere and takes Giraffe's letter far across the ocean to Whale Sea. A correspondence begins between Giraffe and a penguin. As the pen pals discover more about what it's like on the other side of the horizon, each also ends up trying to solve the mystery of what the other animal looks like. The resulting letters and antics are humorous as the giraffe and the penguin imagine what life is like on opposite parts of the globe. This Japanese import will charm beginning readers who enjoy a bit of witty humor with their animal adventures. The pen-and-ink illustrations are simple yet have a Quentin Blake feel that rounds out the characters and their quirky behaviors. A highly amusing early chapter book for readers who may also be learning the art of letter writing."—School Library Journal
"Giraffe, bored and looking for a friend, becomes pen pals with Penguin in this illustrated chapter book. Even though Giraffe has nice weather and plenty to eat in his home in Africa, he is bored because he doesn't have 'an extra special friend.' A notice from an also-bored pelican offering 'to deliver anything anywhere' spurs Giraffe to write a letter introducing himself ('I'm famous for my long neck'), and he asks Pelican to deliver it to the first animal he meets on the 'other side of the horizon.' After a long flight, Pelican sees Seal. Seal delivers the letter to Penguin, since Penguin is 'the only animal . . . who got letters. . . . Most were from his girlfriend.' This original, playful story unfolds with perfect pacing as Giraffe and Penguin start a pen-pal correspondence. (Penguin, not sure what a neck is, writes back: 'I think maybe I don't have a neck. Or maybe I am all neck?') Giraffe and Pelican, reading Penguin's letters describing himself, are just as confused about what Penguin looks like. Hilarious deductive reasoning ensues. Young readers will love the silliness. Older readers (including adults) will relax in this gentle, judgment-free world of curiosity and discovery. Takabatake's fresh, unaffected line illustrations create a seamless collaboration of art and words. This is a rare book: joyful, ingenuous, playfully earnest, but without a whiff of studied cuteness."—Kirkus Reviews
"Giraffe should be content; he has plenty to eat and a comfortable home. But he's bored and wonders what lies over the horizon. Upon seeing Pelican's sign for his new delivery service, Giraffe gets the idea to write a letter to someone on the other side. He instructs Pelican to give the letter to the first animal he sees over the horizon, and so Penguin becomes the lucky recipient of Giraffe's note, courtesy of his local messenger seal. Letters go back and forth between Giraffe and Penguin, and Giraffe grows curious about what his correspondent looks like. Hilarity ensues as Giraffe and Pelican, neither of whom has ever seen a penguin, search the missives for clues so they can dress Giraffe to look like Penguin. When at last the pen pals meet, what a surprise awaits! But who cares how they look? Through their letters, a lasting friendship has developed between the animals. The combination of short narrative, dialogue, letters, and humorous penand- ink drawings is a winning one. For children who send or receive few letters, the book's a great introduction to letter writing, although this isn't its main purpose. Its gentle friendship story will leave readers feeling warm and fuzzy, making this early chapter book a great addition to any collection."—Booklist
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books — 2017 — Winner
Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year — 2018 — Winner
Kirkus Best Children's Books — 2017 — Winner
New York Public Library Best Books for Kids — 2017 — Winner
USBBY Outstanding International Books List — 2018 — Winner