First the Movie, Then the Book

It’s not every time you see a documentary that you get to meet its subject right after. Or that you know — before the film is over and even more once you’ve heard the subject address the audience — that you want to write a book about her for kids. Or that the subject agrees to let you do it!

But it happened for me after seeing The Woman Who Loves Giraffes at the Bookshelf Cinema in Guelph!

It turned out that Anne Innis Dagg lives not far from where I live, so there were lots of opportunities for us to meet as work on the book progressed.

“That’s super!” Anne said often, and also, “No, Kathy, you can’t say the thorns on acacia trees don’t hurt giraffe mouths. We don’t know that for sure.”

Fortunately the writing and revising of text was done before covid struck, and although we would have enjoyed meeting every time François Thisdale sent another few roughs or a final piece of art, we were nonetheless happy to see his illustrations — a wonderful combination of photos and painting — taking shape.

A story of passion, determination, a scientific African adventure, gender discrimination, triumph, and animal conservation, The Girl Who Loved Giraffes and became the world’s first giraffologist has it all! It also includes lots of fun facts about giraffes, which will be of particular interest for readers not yet ready for Anne’s own book, Five Giraffes

Why not order your own copies from your favourite indie bookseller today? A portion of author royalties will go toward giraffe conservation.

And don’t forget to see “The Woman Who Loves Giraffes” too, available on iTunes.

Share this post:

Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.

Kathy Stinson


  1. Corrie O'Driscoll on May 12, 2021 at 9:32 am

    I’m so excited, and lucky to have been on the sidelines as this project developed! I’ve ordered my copies from The Bookshelf in Guelph.

    • Kathy on May 12, 2021 at 9:57 am

      It was great to have you sharing the fun along the way. I’ll be sure to send you an invitation to the zoom launch.

  2. Janet Barclay on May 12, 2021 at 10:13 am

    Your enthusiasm for this project caught me right away, and I love what I’ve seen so far, including François Thisdale’s beautiful artwork. I can’t wait to get copies for myself and my grandchildren!

    • Kathy on May 12, 2021 at 10:58 am

      Wonderful, Janet. Thank you. I hope all of you will enjoy it!

  3. tara_ross on May 12, 2021 at 11:08 am


    You have fulfilled my daughter’s wildest dream in writing this book and meeting with Anne. She is the next generation of giraffologists with a love that has stsyed strong over seven years.

    Will you or Anne be doing any signings later this summer? (Assuming Covid restrictions lighten?)

    Tara Ross

    • Kathy on May 12, 2021 at 12:19 pm

      Delighted to hear this, Tara.

      There will be a zoom launch of the book at 7pm ET on June 2, hosted by Fitz&Whits and The Bookshelf. Send an email to if you and your daughter would like to attend.

      Your daughter might also be interested in the Junior Giraffe Club which the Anne Innis Dagg Foundation has set up. There’s an online meeting on June 26 that Anne and I will both be at.

      We haven’t made any specific plans beyond that date, but we certainly hope to.

      Take care and stay well in the meantime! 🙂

  4. taborstomreg on May 12, 2021 at 11:35 am

    Looks and sounds like a great book.


    • Kathy on May 12, 2021 at 12:22 pm

      Thanks, Gine. I’ll send you an invite to the launch, in case you’d like to attend, if it doesn’t work when I try attaching it to this note. The book’s editor will be interviewing me, the illustrator, and Anne herself. (Mostly me and François.) Should be fun!

  5. Ingrid Ermanovics on June 1, 2021 at 2:32 am

    Your enthusiasm caught me and I know that anything you put your name behind is good and solid and makes the world a better place. I watched the documentary yesterday with my family and was completely caught off guard by the amazing Anne Innis Dagg and how she fought for women’s rights. How shameful that our so-called institutions of learning were so narrow-minded back then. I can think of so many female profs now that have impressed and inspired my children in Ontario universities, in science and politics too. I am equally compelled to act more overtly towards giraffe, a species I have long adored. I will show the doc at school and share with friends and purchase your book as a gift for friend’s children. Thank you for bringing this story into my life!

    • Kathy on June 1, 2021 at 6:17 am

      What a wonderful message, Ingrid! Thank you! I’ll make sure that Anne sees it, she’ll be so pleased. And thanks for your confidence in me and my choice of projects too. I hope you and your family are well, wherever you are living now. If it’s in a time zone where it isn’t the middle of the night at 7 ET, and you’re free tomorrow night (June 2), there’ll be an online launch of The Girl Who Loved Giraffes, with Anne and François Thisdale the book’s illustrator taking part. It would be great to have you there. Email for the zoom link if you can make it!

Leave a Comment

Please read my Privacy Policy before commenting/subscribing.