This is a wonderful story about a giraffe named Gerald who longs to dance at the annual Jungle Dance with all his friend, but "when it came to dancing, he was really very bad."
He watches the other animals waltz, rock n' roll, tango, cha-cha and do the reel, while poor Gerald watches. When it's his turn to dance, he just freezes up, feeling sad and useless.
But Gerald discovers, with the help of a friendly cricket, that what he really needs to find is the right music. When he does, he becomes the "best dancer that we've ever, ever seen!"
This is a wonderful tale about how being different doesn't mean that you don't fit in, it just means that you have to find a different 'music' or a different way to feel good. Written in rhyme, it has a lyrical, musical feel throughout - and that is echoed in the dancing animals.
The key message, that everyone has their 'own music' is a great stepping stone for teachable moments. You can talk about how we treat people who are different and how we encourage friends to try new things. The book also prompts lots of discussion about dancing styles and different kinds of music.
After story time, pull out the instruments and get dancing with your little readers - they'll love pretending to be Gerald and find their own rhythm!