This is the astonishing true story of Zeraffa, a giraffe who was sent as a gift from Egypt to France in 1826. A young boy, Atir, takes care of Zeraffa on her epic journey and the sailors sing songs as she gazes down at them. In France, Atir leads her through the countryside, and thousands of people marvel at Zeraffa. Paris falls in love with Zeraffa. The King builds her a special house in the Jardin des Plantes. On warm nights, the young princess visits, while Atir whispers stories to Zeraffa of a hot land far away. The amazing story by an award-winning author of a giraffe’s extraordinary voyage from Africa to Paris.
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Jane Ray graduated from Middlesex University in 3D Design. She began her career designing greetings cards, book jackets and posters. Gradually, however, she moved towards children's book illustration, especially fairy tales, mythology and folktales. Jane's first picture book for Frances Lincoln was Jinnie Ghost with Berlie Doherty, which was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award. Her other acclaimed picture books include The King of Capri with Jeanette Winterson, Romeo and Juliet with Michael Rosen, and The Dolls' House Fairy and Snow White, which she both wrote and illustrated. She lives with her family in North London.
"The stunning illustrations by Jane Ray are full of the most amazing and atmospheric detail and capture the feel of each stage of the journey. A wonderful book."
'assuredly this beautifully told and illustrated story is an example of the oft said ‘Truth is stranger than fiction.’
‘ This is a magical book about a true story… Ray’ s illustrations … full of luminous colour and decorative patterns.. Hofmeyr’ s test, took has a romantic lyricism… Both the images and the text make us feel the wonder and love that Zereffa inspired.’
'The inherently exotic figure of the giraffe is richly celebrated in this incredible true story … Jane Ray's beautiful illustrations bring this curious and unlikely story alive, capturing the magnificence of Zereffa in alien surroundings.’
‘ Sumptuously illustrated… A fascinating book.’
‘ exquisitely composed pictures’
‘ Jane Ray’ s illustrations are, as always, magical… The curves and grace of the paintings; the details, colours and characters in the scenes all build to create a sense of beauty and care and wonder… The lush language...is the kind of language that we should be whispering into the ears of our young children and encouraging our older children to form with their own mouths. It is beautiful and evocative and mysterious. It is the kind of language that can take you on an adventure… I love the way the whole book mirrors the character of Zeraffa – graceful and wise, playful and mischievous, but always with an air of magic and wonder.’
‘ The story of Zeraffa the Giraffe reads like a fairy tale. And is even more astonishing for being true! . . . Jane Ray's illustrations are absolutely beautiful, giving the true story of Zeraffa a mythical feel. Zeraffa is a lovely book to give as a gift. The story will appeal to younger and older children, and adults will enjoy reading it too.’
'Gorgeous illustrations by Jane Ray enhance a topical tale by Diane Hoymeyr … Rich in detail ...make beautiful presents for over-fives.‘
‘ Beautiful… Jane Ray’ s illustrations bring alive every detail.’
‘ Wonderful… stunning… fantastic… The vivid illustrations really bring this amazing story to life.’
‘ Hofmeyr’ s narrative is short, but packs a huge amount in, and Jane Ray’ s illustrations perfectly match the singularity and strangeness of the story, a fairytale that just happens to be true. Each spread is a delight, a chapter in itself, with so much to read, observe and wonder at. A very special book indeed.’
'assuredly this beautifully told and illustrated story is an example of the oft said ‘ Truth is stranger than fiction.’
'Each spread is a delight, a chapter in itself, with so much to read, observe and wonder at. A very special book indeed.'
"This is a truly beautiful tale"
"An amazing story by an award-winning author"