A Giraffe and a HalfI read a bunch of Shel Silverstein’s books as a kid. I don’t know anyone who didn’t own a copy of A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends. I’m pretty sure my younger brother (Uncle Funk) checked out The Missing Piece a handful of times from the library as a child, and I vividly remember my 3rd grade teacher reading us Lafcadio in class (she wasn’t reading it quickly enough, so I made my parents buy it and finish it before the rest of the class). And that leaves out The Giving Tree which might be his most lasting classic. But somehow I missed A Giraffe and a Half. However did that happen?

A Giraffe and a Half
is rated Renew It Again & Again!

Silverstein starts with a giraffe, then stretches his neck to add a half on the first page. On the second page, he adds a rose to the giraffe’s nose (leaving you with a giraffe and a half with a rose on his nose). And so on. Each page adds one more pair of rhymes, growing into a list of a dozen or so. The simple rhymes are very humorous, and it’s a breeze to read. It’s a bit of a combination of Green Eggs and Ham (new rhymes on each page), and The Cat in the Hat (piling items up on a central character). Perhaps, these similarities are why this book was skipped during my childhood. It was originally published in 1964 (four and seven years after Ham and Hat, respectively). But if you think that means you shouldn’t read A Giraffe and a Half, you’re truly missing out.

The words flow very easily, it’s super funny for the little kids, and Silverstein’s traditional black and white artistic style is always pleasing. Find this soon, you won’t regret it!