Atefe Maleki Joo
Like all giraffes Zayzafoona does not need much sleep. Each night while all the animals are sleeping she roams through the forest looking for a friend to keep her company and play with her. One night she looks up at the sky and notices how the stars twinkle and shine and have different formations. Zayzafoona decides to try to go up to the stars who stay up all night like her. Will she be able to convince the forest animals to help her achieve her goal? An imaginary and humorous story about fulfilling dreams. It pushes us to ponder and admire the world around us.
Parent and Teacher guide
Like all giraffes, Zayzafoona sleeps for a very short time only during the night. The rest of the time she roams around looking for a friend to play with. The animals are annoyed with her because she makes a lot of noise walking on dry leaves and twigs and disturbs their sleep. She approaches the owl Farida, but Farida refuses to play with her because she is busy hunting for food.
One night while Zayzafoona is wandering aimlessly she looks up to the sky and is amazed by the lovely twinkling stars. She busies herself by counting the stars and guessing the shapes they make. She decides to go up and have fun with the stars at night while all the other animals are sleeping.
Points for discussion:
• How is Zayzafoona different from other animals. There is a variety of animal species on our planet. Some share certain characteristics while others have nothing in common. Variety enriches our lives. Discuss.
• Why is friendship important? Why do we need friends? Zayzafoona was ready to go up to the stars to find friends to play with. Discuss.
• Look around you at the universe and at nature. Focusing on nature helps us feel peace and tranquility and encourages kids to find their interests and creative abilities. It also helps to curtail violence.
• What are the stars? How did they help people in the past? What are horoscopes. Name some of their formations. What is the science that studies stars and planets? What is astronomy?
• A giraffe wants to fly. Discuss the possibility of certain things happening. They may be possible or impossible. Mention some impossible things.
• Why did Zayzafoona decide to fly up to the stars? What would we do if we fail to achieve a goal we worked for?
• Is it logical for a giraffe to think of flying? Why did the Zayzafoona think it was possible?
• Why did the animals help Zayzafoona try to fly? What can we achieve when we work together as one?
• What did Zayzafoona discover at the end of the story. Is it possible to live away from home? Sometimes home is where love and our friends are.
• Friendship plays an important role in our lives. It expresses our need to be accepted in society and to be our own individual person.
About the Author
Yazan Masarweh develops educational programs for children at the Children Museum in Jordan. He is also an active member in puppet shows and the international Red Noses society. After graduation with a BA in translation he decided to work in a different field. Because of his artistic inclinations he worked as a graphic designer for over 15 years and changed course again when he discovered the wonderful world of children books while working with a puppet theatre group. He mastered the art of storytelling and became well known for his exciting presentations. He produced a number of plays for children of different ages. His hands on experience with children story telling and puppet theatre led to his first early reader story “ Zayzafoona”
About the Illustrator
Born in 1977, An illustrator whose works have appeared in several exhibitions. MA in illustration at Tehran Art University. She has illustrated several children’s books and she also works for a number of children’s magazines. She has won several national and international awards, including the 16th Noma Concours for Picture Book Illustrations, 2008, and 4th CJ Picture Book, Korea. So she has done illustrating for several animation movie such as the animation movie “The Fried Fish” that accepts in Berlin International Film Festival 2015.