The Spaghetti Giraffe is a chapter book about fumble-handed cook Mina Cucina and the animal she inadvertently creates when she drops the spaghetti pot. As well as describing Mina’s culinary attempts, there is a fairy tale element woven into the story – the underlying message is to be true to yourself.
From the start there are references to food, which is the main theme of the story. The author’s message is conveyed through descriptive passages, ‘The spaghetti stayed on the floor. At first it steamed, limp and glossy in its coating of olive oil’ and ‘The mint green lozenges of pasture, the brilliant blue braid of the river, and the pink, purple and yellow snippets of flowers, all bathed in the buttery summer light’. There is an assumption that the reader has had prior experience with this type of language, however the illustrations assist the reader in comprehending the story.
It would suit a confident reader as it has some sophisticated language and several similes. These require having a good knowledge of the vocabulary and its meaning.
I would recommend it for children aged between 7 and 11 years.
Title: The Spaghetti Giraffe
Author: Sarah Johnson
Illustrator: Deborah Hinde
Publisher: Flat Bed Press
Date of Publication: July, 2017
Ages: 7–11 years
Reviewer: Trish Hereaka
School: Rata Street School, Lower Hutt