zeraffa_giraffa_parisA giraffe walking through the streets of Paris in 1827 must have been a wondrous sight.  What was this strange horned, half horse, half camel creature with impossible long legs and a black tongue?

Zeraffa Giraffa is the story of a giraffe that is sent from Africa to the King of France as a gift. How will a giraffe with such a long neck and such long legs ever make this journey? Atir her keeper, has plans. She travels all the way down the Nile in a felucca to Alexandria and then across the sea to Marseilles. But how will Zeraffa get from Marseilles to Paris where the King is waiting? Atir has an idea. She will walk. But the journey is 200 miles long.

Zeraffa_giraffa_moonAlong the way, thousands line the road to see the strange creature. When they finally reach Paris, Atir remains at Zeraffa’s side and sleeps high up on a platform close to her face at La Rontonde in the Jardin Des Plantes.  At night a secret visitor joins them and listens as Atir whispers stories of a far off land.

THE LITTLE ANGEL THEATRE in Islington & OMNIBUS in Clapham put on the play ZERAFFA GIRAFFA, with a script  by  Sabrina Mafouz which ran for 9 weeks. It won an OFFIE (Off West End) for best children’s production.

CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE WEEK – THE SUNDAY TIMES Culture Magazine – 20 April 2014 ‘Hofmeyr’s text has a romantic lyricism.’ NICOLETTE JONES.

Nadia reading to giraffes in Kenya  

SATURDAY GUARDIAN – 19th April 2014 – ‘The inherently exotic figure of the giraffe is richly celebrated in this incredible true story.‘ JULIA ECCLESHARE.

BOOKS FOR KEEPS  5 Star review – ‘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.’   read full review here

RHINO READS 27th March 2014: ‘This 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.’   read full review here

NEW STATESMAN Pick of the Week – 19th April 2014 – ‘Gorgeous illustrations by Jane Ray enhance a topical tale by Dianne Hofmeyr … Rich in detail.’  AMANDA CRAIG.

Zeraffa Giraffa-8lr




ISBN 978-1-84780-344-3


Denmark – Forlaget Klematis

Sweden – Forlaget Hjulet

South Korea – Daekyo

South Africa (English & Afrikaans) – Protea

France – Circonflexe