Book Review, Book Tour, KidLit

KidLit Review | Neck & Neck – Elise Parsley [#ChildrensBookTuesday]


Hey one and all, welcome to the Ginger Mom’s stop on the Neck & Neck blog tour, hosted by RockStar Book Tours 🙂 We are super thrilled to be participating in this tour, as this is by far one of the cutest KidLit books we’ve read this year!
Neck & Neck
by Elise Parsley
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Genre: KidLit | Animals
Pages: 40
Age(s): 4-8
Format Read: Hardcover
Source: Publisher in Exchange for Honest Review
Buy: Amazon | iBooks | Book Depository | IndieBound (Affiliate Links)
Add it on Goodreads
Follow the Tour HERE
Reviewed by Megan, Crystal & Mister Chu

Everybody loves Leopold the giraffe. He inspires awe and wonder. His adoring fans gaze and cheer. Best of all, they feed him lots of deeeelicious snacks! But, one day, a shiny, bobble-headed new rival comes in and ruins everything . . . a giraffe-shaped balloon! Just how far will Leopold go to prove that he’s the hero of the zoo? Readers learn that actions speak far louder than looks in this laugh-out-loud face-off from Elise Parsley – the New York Times bestselling creator of If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t!


This book was one of the most fun picture books Mister Chu and I have read together. So. Much. Laughing. Mister Chu liked the little boy with the giraffe balloon, while Leopold was a favorite of mine. He was hilarious! This giraffe, who is used to being treated like a king, now has to compete with a balloon! And ooh, does he hate that balloon! The story is so unique and the artwork is stunning. The expressions on Leopold’s face, as well as the little boy’s, tell the story all on their own.

The illustrations in this book, as I said, are stunning. And the back cover said they were all drawn digitally in Adobe Photoshop! Incredible. I love how Elise took an ordinary animal, like a giraffe, and gave him such personality. And the cover is just as gorgeous as the inside of the book. Leopold facing off against that blasted giraffe balloon 🙂 What a laugh!

Photo credit: Neck & Neck review copy

Just a thought – doesn’t Leopold remind you of a certain green grinchy character we all love so much?

By the time this review goes live, we have already read this book 6 or 7 times, most of those on the very same day it arrived on our doorstep. And each time, laughter. Each time, silliness. Each time . . . “Leopold, that was naughty.” This book is rated for 4-8 year olds, leaving us at the bottom end of that spectrum. However, Mister Chu enjoyed it very thoroughly, and I think his sister would enjoy it just as much. I would say it is an adorable read that’s suitable for any age. What child (or adult, for that matter), isn’t going to get a laugh out of seeing Leopold fight with a balloon!

Stellar book! We will definitely be picking up more of Elise Parsley’s books in the very near future 🙂


I don’t usually review kid’s books . . . but this one I am making an exception for. This story is wonderful!! Everything about it from the storyline (and lesson being taught), the characters, the illustrations . . . all make this book a pleasure to read and to be enjoyed again and again!

I am purchasing it for my Kindle, because I know some kiddos who would enjoy it too!! Five stars. And it earned every single one!

Elise Parsley cropped
About the Author
Elise Parsley

Elise Parsley studied drawing and creative writing at Minnesota State University Moorhead. During college, Elise also volunteered over 1800 hours promoting literacy through an AmeriCorps academic enrichment program. Now she promotes literacy through writing and illustrating children’s books.

Elise is the Illustrator Coordinator for the Dakotas Region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She spends a lot of her time telling aspiring writers and illustrators to join the SCBWI and get involved with a local critique group or two. Elise and her family live in Beresford, SD.

Where is Elise? 
Website | Twitter | Instagram

Have you checked out the GIVEAWAY yet? 3 winners are going to receive a finished copy of Neck & Neck! US only.

20180508_223201.pngA big thank you to Elise Parsley, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, and RockStar Book Tours for the gifting of this book and allowing the Ginger Mom to take part in this tour. The gifting of Neck & Neck in no way influenced our review and all opinions expressed within are entirely our own, mine and Mister Chu’s.

Did you stop by for #ChildrensBookTuesday? Just follow the little blue froggy and link up your favorite KidLit book, whether it has a stubborn giraffe in it or not 🙂

What’s your favorite animal at the zoo? That one you just can’t wait to see. If you were in Leopold’s place and a little kid decided he liked a balloon more than you, what would you do? Let us know in the comments below if you’ve read this or any of Elise Parsley’s other books. And, as always, thanks for reading! No balloons could ever replace YOU 🙂



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