Category Archives: Giraffe Bread

Not Forgetting Auld Acquaintance


Ha ha ha, this story really does run and run.

Many blessings on Chris King and his new wife in the years to come, from all of us here. Glad your best man was canny enough to contact us so that Lily could write you this in time.


What do you see here?


I never knew Pink Ladies could actually germinate before being opened up. But apparently they can. And several from this pack (from a well known Giraffe-bread-stocking supermarket) had already grown a number of little shoots of this size on being cut open. Wow!

So, like any good parent, I saw fit to give the fruit to the children to eat and duly ‘planted’ the sprouting pips on some damp kitchen roll in a jam jar. Now I have to wait and see whether we are in for an orchard. How exciting. We already have extra growth, some green.

Restoring faith in Giraffinity

Do you like stories that restore your faith in humanity? For example, collections like this at Buzzfeed? Number 7 was familiar to me and perhaps to you too. It is odd finding new references to the letter my daughter Lily painstakingly typed over a year ago.

I have to concede though, the Giraffe Bread story did turn out to have many ingredients of a great meme and we do get spikes on the blog here as the story breaks in new arenas and languages. Tumblr fell prey not long ago. It is odd seeing how people like passing on a story they like in waves.

The story of the letters went viral on Twitter last year (thanks to a university friend tweeting images from this blog) and then on Facebook in January, care of a chap in Singapore called Parker Lim who I do not know. Many people started making comments that the bread should be renamed, but I had nothing to do with this. Sainsbury’s called me up shortly after and told me they had decided to change the name from Tiger to Giraffe Bread. It is still selling as Giraffe Bread in shops and is a huge PR success for them. Newspapers and radio stations started reporting the story, but we are far more impressed by the reporting skills of the general public than the newspaper journalists, many of whom clearly didn’t check the facts. For Lily’s sake as she gets older, we have printed out international copies of the story we have found and other positive reactions we liked. We have not wanted media coverage, and would far rather deflect the story’s attention toward helping others. I am also aware of trolling on the topic and am keen that Lily is protected going forward from hurtful sites. As a result, we are making very little of the story around her, other than making a point of visiting Lili the Adopted Giraffe at the zoo, and enjoying playing with some Active Kids equipment that Sainsbury’s sent to her toddler group at church. The toddlers made a giraffe collage to send to thank the kind people at Sainsbury’s too. Pretty good I thought!

I have to be honest and say that despite the human race’s propensity to stupidity and evil, most people want to hear good things most of the time, rather than negative things. We crave hope. We delight in success. We want stories that are punchy and positive.

And so Giraffe Bread is not going away any time soon. I have realised that it is likely to be revisited in new waves from time to time, and if this brings joy and hope, wonderful. If it also prompts some to click on our link to help feed children in Africa, even better.

Roaming Giraffes


I don’t always feel the need to revisit the Giraffe Bread story, but since the good folk at WordPress have kindly started collecting data on where in the world people are looking at my blog, I thought this might be interesting to some readers. This data is only since 25th February (the story broke at the end of January, so most of the hits were in the first week of February, and won’t be registered here).

If you are interested in knowing where people (apparently) were looking, this also makes interesting reading:

Country Views
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 1,300
United States FlagUnited States 409
Canada FlagCanada 72
Spain FlagSpain 71
Australia FlagAustralia 63
Germany FlagGermany 46
Malaysia FlagMalaysia 45
Netherlands FlagNetherlands 40
Singapore FlagSingapore 34
Ireland FlagIreland 26
Brazil FlagBrazil 23
New Zealand FlagNew Zealand 17
Czech Republic FlagCzech Republic 17
France FlagFrance 16
Israel FlagIsrael 16
Turkey FlagTurkey 15
Japan FlagJapan 15
Sweden FlagSweden 15
Poland FlagPoland 14
Denmark FlagDenmark 12
Chile FlagChile 11
India FlagIndia 11
Philippines FlagPhilippines 10
Mexico FlagMexico 9
Switzerland FlagSwitzerland 8
Russian Federation FlagRussian Federation 8
Hungary FlagHungary 8
Nigeria FlagNigeria 8
South Africa FlagSouth Africa 7
Pakistan FlagPakistan 6
Belgium FlagBelgium 6
Taiwan, Province of China FlagTaiwan 5
Ukraine FlagUkraine 5
Malta FlagMalta 5
Indonesia FlagIndonesia 5
Tunisia FlagTunisia 5
Colombia FlagColombia 5
Italy FlagItaly 5
Trinidad and Tobago FlagTrinidad and Tobago 4
Hong Kong FlagHong Kong 4
Portugal FlagPortugal 3
Maldives FlagMaldives 3
Thailand FlagThailand 3
Estonia FlagEstonia 3
Bulgaria FlagBulgaria 3
Argentina FlagArgentina 2
Kenya FlagKenya 2
Venezuela FlagVenezuela 2
Slovenia FlagSlovenia 2
Iceland FlagIceland 2
Peru FlagPeru 2
Albania FlagAlbania 2
Romania FlagRomania 2
Bahamas FlagBahamas 2
Saudi Arabia FlagSaudi Arabia 2
Ecuador FlagEcuador 2
United Arab Emirates FlagUnited Arab Emirates 2
Austria FlagAustria 2
Puerto Rico FlagPuerto Rico 2
Mauritius FlagMauritius 2
Finland FlagFinland 2
Virgin Islands, British FlagBritish Virgin Islands 2
Guatemala FlagGuatemala 1
Bolivia FlagBolivia 1
Kuwait FlagKuwait 1
Sri Lanka FlagSri Lanka 1
Paraguay FlagParaguay 1
Bangladesh FlagBangladesh 1
Serbia FlagSerbia 1
Cyprus FlagCyprus 1
Jamaica FlagJamaica 1

Wow. Thank you for stopping by, world.

I will not ever never forget you Beaky

I have this little daughter Lily. She is small and very funny. Lily has an imaginary dog called Beaky that no one else can see. She drew a picture of him here:

[Owing to errors in a previous post, I now cannot remember whether Beaky features to the right of the tiger, or on the right hand side of the tiger. I suspect Beaky is the one on the left.]

One day Lily said ‘Beaky died on his birthday’ and we asked how. ‘Beaky had a party and he died and now I have a new dog called Chadderly’.

‘Chadderly?’ we asked. ‘Chadderly? As in Chudleigh?’

‘No’ explained Lily, ‘Chadderly, from the London Advent Calendar‘.

‘Chudleigh from the London Advent Calendar?’

‘Yes. Chadderly.’

This did not make enough sense to us, so we asked about Chadderly. What did he look like?

‘Chadderly is the colour when you mix your ice cream.’

‘Do you mean when you mix chocolate and vanilla?’


Lily then had to tell Beaky and Chadderly off for jumping on the furniture, despite neither of them existing and one having apparently passed away, which brought that conversation to an end.

The next time we visited Grandma and Grandad’s house Lily wanted to see Chadderly on their London Advent Calendar. It is not putting it too strongly to say that Lily is obsessed with the London Advent Calendar. She can tell you what most of the dates do and every day of the month she reminds you of the equivalent last December. The London Eye is the 3rd. The Restaurant with the scary silhouettes is on the 5th and therefore will be ok to watch when she is 5. Big Ben is on the 1st. The Three Boats Come Sailing In is on the 6th. There are a number of others, as you might imagine. Lily makes up songs about it. She talks about the animals. She tells stories about them. She has decided that her teddy Archie will go to the St Paul’s Cathedral school and church (17th). She looks forward to going to Grandma and Grandad’s house mainly to play with their London Advent Calendar.

Here she was at Christmas getting a big fix, in my absence.

Except there was a problem.

You see, Chudleigh (ahem, Chadderly), looks like this:

I don’t know when you last mixed chocolate and vanilla ice cream, but I recommend it. It does not, however, come out black.

The Real dog Lily had in mind was this one:

This is Bertie. So, goodbye Chadderly and goodbye Beaky. We will not ever never forget you. And welcome to the madhouse Bertie from the London Advent Calendar.

Three and a half giraffes later

We are grateful for the massive interest in Lily’s Giraffe Bread letter as a result of the new viral impact this week and Sainsbury’s launch of Giraffe Bread earlier today.

We are not making personal profit from this story, but if it has touched you and you are considering buying some real Giraffe Bread (real Giraffes not included), please also consider making a small donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee, so that more children can eat. So many children, particularly in East Africa, are right now facing another day with no food. Let’s make this a real good news story. You could do it right now through Paypal and quote the DEC email address to donate:


Update 1st Feb I have discovered today that DEC’s East Africa Appeal has just closed, so you can no longer text the word DEC to 70000 to donate £5. But you can still donate towards their appeal for future emergencies, or you could give to the work in East Africa by donating to one of their member charities feeding people there right now, such as Tear Fund.

Thank  you for taking an interest, and thank you for making a difference.

Having a Giraffe

This has all got very silly. I still find it funny that people are forwarding and promoting this story in all kinds of ways. It divides people into several responses.

1) There is no way a child that age could do that.

2) How cute/sweet/adorable.

3) Chris King is a hero who should be knighted/promoted/extolled beyond even twitter and facebook. He seems a top bloke.

4) What a great PR strategy this appears to have been (we wish our company had thought of it).

5) What is a £?

6) How mean that Sainsbury’s should only send a £3 voucher.

7) How kind of Sainsbury’s to send a £3 voucher.

8) What is £3 in dollars/euros/baht?

9) What is Sainsbury’s?

10) Where can I get a Sainsbury’s? Next time I am in the United Kingdom I want to buy one.

11) What is tiger bread?

12) If there are no giraffes in it, we cannot call it giraffe bread, under EU trading directive.

The Huffington Post (UK) believe Sainsbury’s ought to rename it Giraffe Bread. My father believes they should sponsor a Giraffe in a wildlife sanctuary or zoo, preferably called Lily. Wikipedia briefly mentioned the story (under Tiger Bread), but the story apparently needs verifying. A number of other blogs around the world have written up the story now, mostly in the heart-warming category, but an Italian Magazine has capitalised on the marketing side too. The Sun now has a page on the internet also telling the story: Little Lily probes Sainsburys about tiger bread and I was obliged to spend 30p checking whether she was in print today (no, just online). Facebook has a page dedicated to hero-worshipping Chris King, gaining huge popularity today. From this I have learnt today that Chris, like Lily, is about to start nursery school, on placement as a trainee teacher. He will make a great teacher in my opinion if he is a natural at getting on to the children’s level. Perhaps the most bizarre twist is the analysis done by Laurence Borel which tries to trace how the story went viral.

My friend from university who originally posted the pictures to Twitter makes some insightful comments at the end of that analysis. Facebook couldn’t forward photos in quite the same way as Twitter back in June.

There is a serious side to all this humour too. We love our daughter and do not want to exploit her or cause her distress. She finds the story funny at the moment, but hasn’t got much time for it. Without protecting her, she could end up in a situation like this:

… which won’t be happening on my watch. £3 is quite enough really to make a whole lot of people smile.

When our son gets a little older though, perhaps he ought to send a letter to Ferrari…

Shining bright

So now Lily ‘Tiger Bread’ aged 3 and a half is making international headlines. Well, in the Netherlands apparently anyway. Where, according to some sources, Tiger Bread really originated.

In case your Dutch is (singularly) rusty the article tells the story, equating £3 to 3.50 Euros. It hasn’t been spent yet: I’m hoping to think of something memorable to get within the price range. We seriously doubt we will meet Chris King in store, to thank him personally.

Other blogs have also taken up the story. A Work in Progress, Christopher England, ReelGoneKid (a friend of Mr King’s), and Shiny Biscuit (a more sentimental view), Law Actually, Fishnip, and Understanding Alice all have links to threescore. So does reddit (advisory content warning), with some very funny comments from people unfamiliar with Tiger Bread, the pound sign or the idea of photographing a letter your daughter has not yet sent just because you think it is sweet. I have no connections with Sainsbury’s. It might just have easily been another store, had we lived near a different one.

As a fan of close reading and analysis of texts, I am most intrigued by comments trying to unpick the letter or questioning Lily’s ability. She is a smart child. Today she said ‘it’s quarter past two mummy’ and it was. Maybe Sainsbury’s could get her the elusive Boden pink watch that I have not been able to. She knows her letters, her numbers to 100 and can read a few words already. She does this almost entirely of her own volition. She’s just naturally curious. I was actually keen that we only write the letter to Sainsbury’s if she wanted to, but she lit up and got super-excited when I suggested it. I told her the letters to press (phonetically), and when she typed a mistake she wanted to delete letters. I actually stopped her redoing Sainssssssssbbbbbbburyyys and c\alled because it was the original way she typed them. She laughed out loud at how she had typed Sainsbury’s. The c\alled repeat was because she remembered she had done it that way the first time and wanted to get it the same. This from a child who asks me why the word ‘one’ starts with an ‘o’ and not a ‘w’. She has a bright daddy.

The pictures at the bottom of Lily’s letter are of a tiger (right) and her imaginary dog Beaky (right). She did not want to draw a giraffe. No problem. At that point she’d done enough so we wrote an envelope and found a stamp.

I have saved some of the nicer comments about this whole episode to show Lily when she is older. But we won’t be writing more letters – it would be self-seeking and the whole reason we did it in the first place is because we both like making people happy.


Lily is utterly unaware that her letter to Sainsbury’s has now gone viral on twitter. As of this afternoon a search on tweetreach indicates 14283 people have read about the letters detailed below. And a search on my blog stats shows a massive surge today to its highest ever levels for one day (well into the thousands). Wow. Some people are even tweeting that Sainsbury’s made it up or posted it themselves. They didn’t. I put the pictures on here and mentioned them on facebook. A friend tweeted them.

Probably the best kind of flattery is this sort, from an unknown tweeter:

I would love Lily to write a book, but I am not pushing her. If she has other silly questions, that’s great. We just love her for who she is. A typical 3 year old who is trying to make sense of the world.

Or maybe we ought to start a campaign to rename Tiger Bread.

Or contact Sainsburys about Lily doing their next ad campaign. She comes cheaper than Jamie Oliver.

Our Careline

So Lily got two letters today. The first was rather a waste of nice paper.

The second, care of ‘Our Careline’, whoever she is (masquerading as Chris I think) reads thus:

Thank you Chris. Maybe Lily should write a few more letters.