Geraldine by Elizabeth Lilly is a Whimsical Treat!

Geraldine is a spunky “drama queen” of a giraffe. On the very first page, the only line on the page is given to us by Geraldine,

“I’m moving.”

She says draped like a deflated balloon over a stool. Obviously Geraldine is unhappy about a move.


Geraldine is even more unhappy when she arrives at her new school,

“I learn two things before school even starts: One, I am definitely the only giraffe in this school. And two, flags make very good handkerchiefs.”

Poor Geraldine. She just doesn’t fit in. She refers to herself as “That Giraffe Girl” and her voice becomes very, very quiet.

But when she finally meets Cassie,

“… that girl who wears glasses and likes MATH and always organizes her food”

a delightful friendship is born.

There are many deeper moral implications to this funny and light-hearted tale. Although the main setting deals with the jitters of moving, a new school, and not knowing anyone, Elizabeth Lilly manages to hit the ball a little farther out of the park by wrapping it all up with feelings of inclusion, diversity, and being true to oneself.

That extra meaning, delivered with light-hearted humor is why I am recommending the story. I love it as a picture book because of how sucessfully Lilly’s illustrations show and tell us more of the story. I found her whimsical/sketchy illustrations a real standout and refreshing change. They remind me of Sir Quentin Blake and his “how did he get so much emotion into that one gestural line?” way of drawing. Darling Geraldine is so endearing with her noodley neck and upside down gaze at the world—

I just fell in love with her.

(all images and text are copy-written and belong to Elizabeth Lilly, A Neal Porter Book, Roaring Brook Press, NY)






Jennifer Black Reinhardt

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Jennifer Black Reinhardt

Jennifer Black Reinhardt

Jennifer is the illustrator of several acclaimed picture books. Most recently is Gondra's Treasure, written by Newbery award winner Linda Sue Park. Another recent release is Sometimes You Fly, by Newbery medalist, Katherine Applegate. Jennifer is the author illustrator of Blue Ethel and has illustrated Yaks Yak, Animal Word Pairs by Linda Sue Park, The Inventor's Secret, What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford, by Suzanne Slade, Rabbi Benjamin's Buttons, by Alice B. McGinty, and The Adventures of a South Pole Pig, by Chris Kurtz.


  1. Thanks for bringing this one to our attention! I’ll be watching for it on shelves near me.

  2. I agree with the Quentin Blake influences. This book looks so wonderful. Did not know about it. Ordering at the library now.

  3. Seems a great example of letting the ‘simple’ story (text + art) speak on its own merits to larger truths. Thanks!

  4. “Noodley neck” is perfect! Have loved Geraldine ever since Elizabeth shared her with our Epic18 debut PB group. Looking forward to many more inspired titles from Elizabeth!

  5. Giraffes are my favorite! I’ll be looking for this one!

  6. This looks adorable and full of heart! Can’t wait to read it! Thanks!

  7. I love this idea! And giraffes! And these illustrations!!

  8. What an homage to diversity and finding inner strength!

  9. Love the drama queen issue combined with a giraffe’s body language!

  10. Love the noodley neck! I can see this PB has it all -especially humor and heart – what a winning combination!

  11. Thank you for introducing me to Geraldine and her new friend, Cassie. Such whimsical illustrations with a special message.

  12. I’m looking forward to reading this book. I’m intrigued by all the layering.

  13. Very cute! Love the voice & illustrations!

  14. Thanks for telling us about this book. The characters are interesting and the storyline sounds fun and meaningful. Love the illustrations, too.

  15. I’m completely won over! Geraldine is wonderful, in her noodly way. I’ll run out and get a copy!

  16. Yes, It’s terrific. Such a great character.

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