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Children's Fiction Friendship

Giraffe and Bird

illustrated by Rebecca Bender

Pajama Press Inc.
Initial publish date
Apr 2017
Friendship, Humorous Stories, Birds, Giraffes
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2017
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2020
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2010
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 6
  • Grade: p to 2


Giraffe doesn’t like Bird, not even a little bit, and the feeling is mutual. The bird pesters the giraffe with his face-making, feather-pruning, and disgusting eating habits. The giraffe annoys the bird with his bad breath, ear-swatting, and lack of respect for personal space. Of course they are always fighting. Of course they would be better off without each other. Except, it turns out, maybe they wouldn’t be.

With bold acrylic illustrations, expressive wordplay, and laugh-out-loud storytelling, award-winning author-illustrator Rebecca Bender delivers an odd-couple tale that is anything but your average friendship story. Satisfyingly un-sweet and uproariously irreverent, Giraffe and Bird invites thoughtful discussion about children’s relationships with each other—though first you’ll have to wait for the laughter to stop.

About the author

Rebecca Bender is a well-loved author-illustrator of children’s books as well as an art director and designer. Her picture books include Not Friends, Don’t Laugh at Giraffe, Giraffe Meets Bird, Peach Girl (illustration), and How Do You Feel?. She has also illustrated the chapter books Slug Days, Penguin Days, and Duck Days. Rebecca’s awards and honors include the OLA Blue Spruce Award, a Cooperative Children’s Book Center best-of-the-year choice, and a Toronto Public Library best-of-the-year selection. Rebecca graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design at the top of her class, earning the Medal for Illustration. She lives in Burlington, Ontario, with her husband and two children.


Rebecca Bender's profile page


  • Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens selection
  • Winner, OLA Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award
  • Short-listed, 2011 CBA Libris Award for Children's Book of the Year
  • Short-listed, SYRCA Shining Willow Award

Excerpt: Giraffe and Bird (illustrated by Rebecca Bender)

It's true that getting along can be difficult. If the bird could tell you, he'd say he can't stand the giraffe. And if the giraffe could tell you, he'd say he can't abide the bird.

Editorial Reviews

About Giraffe and Bird

2012 OLA Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award Winner

2011 CBA Libris Award for Children's Book of the Year shortlist

2011 SYRCA Shining Willow Award shortlist

2017 Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens selection


Librarian Reviews

Giraffe and Bird

“It’s true that getting along can be difficult.” Surely no two creatures know this better than Giraffe and Bird. Both live near the same telephone line – and both would tell you they absolutely can’t stand each other. What begins as an exchange of taunts culminates in brawling and ultimately a severing of the relationship — but the scary storm and the terrible loneliness that follow make both parties realize they care more for each other than they suspected.

The marriage of words and pictures here is perfect. Conversational, just-chatty-enough text presents the antics of our protagonists in a gentle, understated way, while the lively acrylic paintings show us what’s really going on — to humorous effect. Rich colours, sequential imagery, and onomatopoeic touches lend a dash of comic-book flavour to the work. The facial expressions of both protagonists deserve special note — they’re hilarious and remarkably eloquent, speaking volumes to the reader without a single word.

This thoroughly charming title is the debut publication for both Dancing Cat Books and author/illustrator Rebecca Bender — and I look forward to seeing more. Cantankerous relationships like Giraffe and Bird’s are a nicely universal theme with broad potential appeal; adults and young people alike are likely to find themselves grinning knowingly as the two not-friends-at-all try their hardest to drive each other crazy. A fine read-aloud with a sweetly reassuring message: even where there is conflict, there can still be affection.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Winter 2011. Volume 34 No. 1.

Giraffe and Bird

Giraffe and Bird are an odd couple who can’t live with or without each other. When they’ve finally had all they can take, they part ways — but how will they weather the coming storm? Giraffe will have nowhere to hide from the lightning, and Bird will have no shelter from the thunder. This hilarious tale shows how two so-called enemies are really rather dependent upon each other.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2011.

Other titles by Rebecca Bender