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Simply Small Series - Saffy
by Paola Opal
AGES: 0 to 3
PAGES: 24
SIZE: 4.25 x 7.75
RIGHTS: World
PRICES: US $7.95, Cdn $8.95
HARDCOVER: 978-1-897476-02-4

Review, Canadian Children's Book News, 2010

"A newly hatched sea turtle, a baby giraffe anxious for independence and a little elephant who wants more than anything to help his mother ... These are the endearing characters in Simply Read Books' board book series, Simply Small, by Paola Opal.

The repetitive text and simple storyline in these board books are perfect for babies. Each of the characters struggles with issues that young children can relate to. Saffy experiences the frustration that every child feels when he or she wants to do more than they can. Children like being mommy or daddy's helper and we see this characteristic in Ollie. In families where there is more than one child, siblings are always trying to keep up with each other, just as Totty tries to catch up with his siblings."

 

*Years Best 2008 Picture Book, Resource Links

Resource Links 

Saffy is a young giraffe who yearns to reach the leaves "high up" in the tree. Mommy offers her a leaf to munch, but Saffy refuses saying "I want to get my own." 

With a look of determination on her face, Saffy stretches "up, up, up." Despite her best efforts, the foliage remains beyond her reach. Mommy returns with a tasty snack before bedtime, but Saffy is resolved to pick her own. After gazing up at the full moon she is inspired to find a creative solution to her problem. By using a rock as a ladder, Saffy is able to enjoy the fruits of her labour. She goes to sleep with dreams of "growing tall. Tall enough to reach the stars."

This well-designed board book features an elongated shape and uncluttered pages. The simple text is complemented by Opal's bright, boldly outlined illustrations of the expressive wide-eyed baby giraffe. Thick, sturdy pages will hold up to repeated readings. An excellent addition to board book collections.

Thematic Links: Determination; Board Books; Independence - Linda Ludke


Canadian Family

"An ambitious giraffe wants to do everything grownups do, but she's too small to reach a leaf on even the lowest branch, and too stubborn to let her mom do it for her." 

 

CM Magazine

“Most parents will recall that point in their young child's life when s/he said something like, "No, me do it," with the "it" perhaps being feeding or dressing her/himself. Saffy is a baby giraffe, and her food, vegetation, is found high up in trees where only her mother's long neck can reach. When Mommy offers Saffy some leaves, a s the extract indicates, Saffy, wishing to demonstrate her independence, refuses them. However, Saffy recognizes that her short stature makes reaching the leaves impossible. A sleepless Saffy finds a solution when she sees the moon. "It's round like a rock, a rock that can roll." Perched on the rock that she has propelled to the base of a tree, Saffy first gets some leaves and then her mother's approval. "Way to go, Saffy! Here's a kiss."


This simple but warm story is effectively packaged as the board book's shape, like a giraffe, is taller than it is wide. The little giraffe's androgynous name will allow readers to substitute the male pronoun in the reading, if so wished. Using a cartoon-like style, Opal manages to capture the emotions of the mother and child through how she illustrates their eyes. The simple artwork, with its bold, black outlines, is highly appropriate for the intended target audience. A worthy addition to home libraries and collections serving preschoolers.” -- Dave Jenkinson. 

 

"Three board books of outstanding cuteness! Fiercely independent and resourceful Saffy is the sweetest little giraffe.  In her first story, Saffy, she finds that she's too short to reach even the lowest leaves on a branch. Politely refusing help from her mother, Saffy is determined to find her own way! In Saffy Looks for Rain, she simply cannot accept the lack of rain clouds in her desert home, so she sets out to find one herself and discovers a new way to cool off, and a new friend!  Let's not forget about Totty. This adorable turtle is not as fast as his siblings, but he sure is creative! It takes only one stray seashell to spark this little turtle's big imagination. See how Totty finds a way to keep up with his brothers and sisters, and maybe even surpass them...Author and illustrator Paola Opal's blend of soft lines, bright pastels, and simple flowing texts are inviting and fun. Great for babies and toddlers." - Brandi, Changing Hands

 

"Saffy by Paola Opal is a book for any time of day and any type of mood. Joleen loves this adorably winsome little board book. I can read it over and over, and it never grows old. Joleen will pick Saffy out of a pile of her books and poke me and squeal until I read it to her. In fact, Joleen loves Saffy so much, that we renamed her Sophie la girafe toy, Saffy.

 Saffy is a staple in our home. We love it so much, that I just had to do a Saffy Review! The bright colors, and fun-to-say words will engage and captivate your little munchkin. The story is simple, but teaches a very beautiful message.  I love that every time we read this book, Joleen is reminded that if she puts her mind to something, she too can reach the stars just like little Saffy does in the book." - Mom Ok'd