Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Gemina The Crooked-Neck Giraffe Book Review and Giveaway

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Did you know that June is National Zoo and Aquarium month? Have you ever heard about or perhaps met Gemina the giraffe?

A moms review:
Our family loves animals and we especially like them any way we can. We recently become ambassadors for our local zoo and several times a month we volunteer at a local horse rescue. So when we heard about the book Gemina: The Crooked-Neck Giraffe we knew it was one we had to review and share with our readers.

Gemina: The Crooked-Neck Giraffe is a non-fiction story that teaches children important lessons about being different, overcoming disabilities and more. It may seem crazy that a giraffe with a crooked-neck could make such an impact on so many peoples lives, but I can tell you first hand it's not! At the rescue we volunteer at there are several very special horses with physical and medical issues (a missing ear, blindness, humps, dwarfism, bowed legs etc). Our family runs the fieldtrips at the rescue so several times a month we get to watch children and adults interact with these horses. It always amazes and brings tears to my eyes when you can see how people are impacted by these special horses. They see the horses happy, thriving and not letting anything get in their way of being a horse. Many of these horses come from terrible circumstances and most likely would have been put down. But at the rescue they are impacting people everyday and teaching valuable lessons in perseverance just like Gemina did!

Gemina: The Crooked-Neck Giraffe is a 37 page hard back book written and illustrated by Karen B. Winnick. The book is about a real Baringo giraffe named Gemina. Gemina was born at the San Diego Wild Animal Park in 1986. She was a very healthy and happy baby and stayed with her mother and father until she was two years old then she went to the Santa Barbara Zoo to live. At the age of three though a bump appeared on the side of her neck. It grew over time and the bigger it got the more crooked her neck became. Her caretakers were puzzled and not sure what was causing the lump and her crooked-neck. Despite her crooked-neck Gemina got around just fine and never seemed to be in any pain. She became quite famous and families from all over went to visit the one and only crooked-neck giraffe. But Gemina was more than just a famous crooked-neck giraffe she was an inspiration too. She helped many people feel better about themselves by showing them that she didn't let her difference stop her from doing what all of the other giraffes did. Gemina lived a long and happy and died in 2009.  You can read an article about Gemina from the Santa Barbara paper here.

The illustrations in the book are adorable. On the last page there is a photo of Gemina. And the endpapers are composed of letters from Gemina's young fans.

And all of the author’s proceeds from the sale of Gemina: The Crooked-Neck Giraffe go directly to supporting animals at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Isn't that awesome?

Both of my children loved the book and it has become a new bedtime favorite. My daughter age 8 said, "I was surprised that Gemina could live as long as she did with a crooked-neck. She was a very cute giraffe. I am glad her friends didn't treat her meanly because of her hump. I really liked the illustrations. I learned that differences don't matter and that everyone is special. I wish we could have gone to see her."

About the Author and Illustrator: 
Karen B. Winnick is the author and illustrator of many picture books for children, including Barn Sneeze, Mr. Lincoln’s Whiskers, and A Year Goes Round: Poems for the Months. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.To learn more, visit her website.

Download a FREE Gemina Activity Kit.

Links to follow:
-Karen B. Winnick Website

Where to buy:
The retail price is $15.95 and the book can be purchased at local books stores and on Amazon. You can also order it directly from the Santa Barbara Zoo.

Now time for the giveaway:
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Gemina: The Crooked-Neck Giraffe along with an adorable plush giraffe. (U.S. addresses only.) Only the first entry is mandatory. Other entries are optional and give you extra chances. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook in any way. The winner will be posted on the blog and will be emailed. Winner must reply within 48 hrs with their contact information or another winner will be chosen. Prize will be mailed via the marketing company.

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Jeanette Ford said...

All of my animals make an impact on my life. I especially look for the ones that no one wants bc of defects. I had a cat that had 7, 6, 5 and 4 toes. Now I have a toy poodle that has one eye smaller than the other. The breeder tried to take him and get me a different one and I said no that's what I like about him.

Becky said...

Oh goodness, I love my furry friends. I still miss the ones that I have said goodbye to in years past.

Hope H. said...

I loved horses when I was growing up. I would ride them, read books about them and write stories about them. My dad loved horses then as well, and I remember wanting to be just like him.

Brandi N said...

My horse Gypsy. She was my best friend in high school and I spent so many hours riding her and talking to her!

Shauna Buck said...

My last cat was my favorite! I had her for 18 years so she was a big chunk of my life! This bbok looks so cute! I spent two years living in Santa Barbara and saw her on several occassions! Would love to get a copy!

Jessica said...

My dog Miko! Everyone who knows me knows him! lol

3Sweetpeas said...

Can't really think of anything memorable . . . I like our pets, but don't really bond with them or find them life-changing . . .

Jessica Fisher said...

My childhood cat was my bff.

Diana Friedman Cole said...

My at Beanie has been w me through all my pregnancies ad had lived in every house that y husband and I have shared. She is 14 now

Long Live Learning said...

Of course! Many animals have impacted my life.

Michelle Downing said...

I went to an animal shelter with a friend when I was about 9 years old. It was so sad how many animal were there without homes. There was 1 animal that really caught my attention and I wished I could have adopted it. It was a bunny with just 1 eye, just looking at it made me sad.

Merry said...

My first dog made an impact on my life. I loved playing with him.

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