Giraffe and Bird, by Rebecca Bender, is a delightful romp. While geared towards children, the message contained within every page will resonate to any reader regardless of age. For a first time author, Bender does fine.
The artwork is colorful yet simplistic in its style. Considering the purpose, this works well. Readers get to see each character with emotions which are easily distinguished. There are only two of them, but this is the point of the entire story.
As the title describes, Giraffe and Bird have something of a relationship. Although Bender suggests a highly antagonistic one, readers will be amused nonetheless. You see, these two animals make contact every single day in various forms. For the most part, it’s annoying. Some actions can be ignored, like the making of funny faces. Well, almost. The actions and reactions get more and more intensified as time goes on. The reader will be smiling at the one word descriptions in certain spots. The giraffe sticking out his tongue is an example. Not only does the reader see the appendage fly forth, there is a pbblt! alongside. The bird using berries as a revenge tactic tacks on a visual image of icky, but grin worthy.
An impending storm makes Bird and Giraffe realize just how much their lives depend on each other. Yes, each is a pest to the other in a myriad of ways. However, it is the constantly being around which means so much. Friendship should not mean two creatures who are exactly alike, but rather two who fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Bender has apparently written the words as well as designed the illustrations. Since she is a graduate of Ontario College of Art and Design, the background is put to good use here. Simple enough to understand, with pictures which bring the story to vivid life.