I found "When Elephant Met Giraffe" by Paul Gude in my pile of new books to process and had to share it this week.
The plot of this book is simple. It contains a series of short stories about the friendship between an elephant and a giraffe. The first connection I made is that it reminds me a bit of Mo Willem's "Elephant and Piggie" series, one of my all time favorites. The simplicity of the text and focus on friendship are quite similar. It doesn't have quite as much humor as "Elephant and Piggie" books but is definitely funny in its own way.
The first short story details how Elephant and Giraffe met, and each story after describes one experience they have together. As mentioned, the text is simple, making this a great book for beginning readers. There is also nice repetition, such as the phrase "Giraffe didn't say anything." which occurs several times across stories.
The illustrations also make this a good book to give to a beginning readers. They are simple, bright and show clearly what is happening in the story. Important clues to new words are obvious in the pictures. For instance, Elephant is shown wearing a pirate hat in the story titled "The Bossy Pirate" where he and Giraffe dress up in costume.
"When Elephant Met Giraffe" could be used with children in many ways. Kids could write additional stories about these characters. They could also compare and contrast them with any of the individual "Elephant and Piggie" books. A nonfiction connection could be looking up facts about Elephants and Giraffes (such as "Do Giraffes really not make any sound?").
As always, let me know if you have any ideas for using this book or any other wonderful book suggestions!