Christmas Library Books and Greedy Zebras

This morning I think a guy tried to pick me up at the library. For real. I mean, he seemed like a nice enough person, but he was doing the “please-talk-to-me-lady” smile and kept striking up conversation and all that, and so I casually said something like “I’m here to get a few Christmas gifts for my husband,” and then it hit me that if he really was interested in me, that he must have just heard what sounded like the worst shut-down excuse in the history of rejection. Anyway, who goes to a library to pick up a girl? But for real- I think he liked me.

The animals have all gone to get new clothes, but zebra stayed behind to gobble up extra food.

If he was just making conversation, he probably thinks I’m a little nuts or something.

So he asked, understandably enough what I could find in a library to give as a Christmas gift, and I answered:

“Library books, of course!”

Now that he's finally set off to get some new threads, he dreams up an audacious costume that will make all the other animals seem pale in comparison.

My husband and I have exchanged library books every year since we got married. It’s this little fun way to pad the present pile without spending a ton of extra cash, then we can read the books together, and it’s less stuff on the shelves- all around, it was a total brainwave when whichever one of us (probably him) came up with the idea.

There's nothing left but a little plain, black material, and it doesn't seem big enough to fit his swollen belly...

Last year my mom came to visit for Christmas, and the zebra book pictured here is one I picked out for her. She’s got a thing for zebras, kind of like my thing for giraffes, but probably not as bad, so I thought this little fable by Mwenye Hadithi would be a cute selection for her. It’s kind of in the vein of Kipling’s Just So Stories– kind of a morality tale about how the zebra got his stripes. The story is adorable and original, and the illustrations are delicious. My mom actually told me later that she was considering taking it home, but then we would have had to pay the library full list price for it, instead of grabbing it on Amazon for five bucks or whatever. Glad she didn’t.

How embarrassing.

The charming pictures were done by Adrienne Kennaway, and appear in a small set of books authored by Mwenye Hadithi. The adorable, subtly anthropomorphic animals and clever stories have gentle morals without being preachy or predictable and make for original children’s fiction.
Greedy Zebra (African Animal Tales)



  1. zebranay Said:

    I don’t know if my thing for zebras is as bad as yours for giraffes, but my friend came to visit one day & her oldest daughter said wow I counted them & you have 215 zebras! I told her no I don’t. I don’t have them all put out.

    • kirinjirafa Said:

      Every now and then my students will walk through my classroom and count giraffes, although I’ve never tried to decorate with them intentionally. I have no idea how many of them there are, but there’s a lot. And that’s not my house, either.

      It’s probably some kind of illness.

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