First Fridays: Steve, the Giraffe With No Neck


It’s Friday again! Hooray! To celebrate, here’s a hilarious First Friday submission from Erik Ammon called Steve, the Giraffe With No Neck!

Quick Summary: Steve the giraffe has no neck.  His parents decide it’s time to take him to the doctor to see what can be done.  When they find out he can have a two foot long neck added, they are ecstatic! But, Steve’s worried about the pain and how he’ll learn to use it.

Picture book manuscript, ages 4-7

 What question do I have?  I don’t really have one 🙂  Sorry!  Guess I’m looking for opinions on the overall story (well, the beginning anyway 🙂 )


Steve, the Giraffe With No Neck by Erik Ammon

This is Steve.  Steve is a giraffe.

A giraffe with no neck.

Most of the time, Steve didn’t care about not having a neck.

“You can’t wear ties or scarves,” said a friend.

“But I’ll never get bit by a vampire!” Steve replied.

“You can’t always find us when we’re in tall grass,” said another friend.

“I know, but I’ll never need a chiropractor!” Steve answered.

Sometimes not having a neck bothered Steve.

“You just haven’t had your neck spurt,” said his mother.

His parents worried about Steve.

“He needs to turn his whole body to talk to other people,” his mother said.

“He can’t watch for predators,” said his father.

“You mean I’m not safe because I don’t have a neck?” asked Steve.

“Let’s take you to see a doctor,” Mom said.

“He needs a neck to keep safe,” said his mother.

“We can insert some vertebrae,” said the doctor.

“What’s a ‘vertabert’?” Steve asked.

“Vertebrae- they’re the bones in our necks and backs that help us move and turn our heads,” the doctor explained.


What do you think? Leave your comments, and remember to be tactfully constructive and give compliments, too!

You can visit Erik’s blog at

And say hi  on Twitter @RunningMoose13


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6 Responses to First Fridays: Steve, the Giraffe With No Neck

  1. Lindsay Bandy says:

    Hey, Erik! This story has so many hilarious components, and it made me laugh out loud. I can picture the illustrations of Steve, and I love how silly they would be. I read this story to my daughters, and they giggled and giggled, but then when it got to the predator part and the surgery part, they got a little alarmed. Since I don’t know what happens next, you may disregard this comment, but my only suggestion would be to maybe change the method in which Steve is going to get his new neck. Could it happen magically? A magical jungle animal or a wishing firefly? It would depend, of course, on what the point of the story is: Does he end up happy with a new neck, or does everyone accept him the way he was? I think it’s a superfunny idea – especially the ways he would have to turn his whole body to talk to people and that he won’t get bitten by a vampire 🙂 Thanks for sharing it with us!

    • Hi Lindsay! I created the story with a specific audience in mind-kids who are going to be going through surgery. I wrote it with the purpose of helping alleviate some fears they may have. He does end up having a neck inserted, goes through PT, and heads back to school…with some humor inserted along the way 🙂

      • Lindsay Bandy says:

        Ah, gotcha. That makes sense. Do you think you could add an opener like: “Steve the Giraffe was feeling nervous. He was going to have surgery, and he didn’t know what it would be like. You see, Steve the Giraffe had no neck…..” Then you could balance out the tension of his fear with the humorous lines immediately following. I think that presents the point of the story right away so readers know what they’re getting into, but immediately lightens the mood so that it doesn’t feel too scary or serious. I think this is an excellent idea. When my daughter broke her leg, I wished I had a book to help her through the casting and what it would be like to take funny baths, get itchy, etc. I think a lot of families will enjoy a story like this to help kids through a tough time!

  2. Hi Erik! Love the deadpan name “Steve” for a giraffe. I liked the story summary, and I enjoyed the excerpt, but I was a little confused at the connection between the two. If the story is about Steve being afraid of the pain of surgery and the resulting aftermath, I think you need to get to that story element faster. To me, the beginning set-up (which looked like four or five spreads) was for a humorous story about a kid disagreeing with his parents or not being accepted for who he is. Either story could be great, I’m just not sure which you’re going for. Good luck!

  3. Hi Wendy: I was trying to create a background/reason for why Steve finally needs to get a neck inserted. It is a longer story (650 words or so) for a PB, but I felt the beginning was needed to setup the before/during and after for surgery. I wll look at it more to see what I can do to get to the problem faster.

  4. Nadine Poper says:

    Ooops…I gave Steve a reply but wrote it on his blog/link. This was my first time so I wasn’t sure how to comment.

Comments are closed.