de Vries is a former winner of the Dutch National Book Award, the Silver Pen, and has been included on the List of Honor of the European Prize for Juvenile Literature.
School Library Journal (10/01/2009): PreS-Gr 1This gem follows a toy giraffe that spontaneously disappears from his child's room to travel through Africa. Even from the first view of Raf, who gleefully dangles from his walking owner's mitten, children will note a spirit of adventure. In postcards sent to his owner/pal, Ben (whom readers never see), Raf tells of encounters with camels, flamingoes, elephants, monkeys, and giraffes. The final card announces his impending return home. Just in time for Ben's birthday, the toy arrives in the mail, dressed in kente cloth and colored beads, and sporting a great grin. DeVries uses postcards for her text, and Dematons's illustrations on full spreads bring deep textures and colors to the pages. Tiny Raf at the feet of giraffes at sunset and his night jungle experience as some monkeys' tug-of-war prize evoke strong sensory components. The scene of Ben's toys in party hats is a hoot. In addition to being a great success with preschool fans of toy tales, this story could also be shared with primary-grade children in conjunction with units on biome study or continents."Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA" Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.