Sophie la Girafe

Sophie the GiraffeI first discovered Sophie the Giraffe at Esther’s house when we first met.  We both had 6-month-old babies who loved putting anything in their mouths. Esther had a rubber giraffe that squeaked when you squeezed it.  Both our babies loved it; it was one of their favorite toys.   But, at that point, neither of us knew she was called “Sophie.”

It wasn’t until a few months later, when I was in Brussels with my husband (and baby), that I learned of her name.   My husband was speaking at an animation conference, so naturally, I went shopping…

I found a huge toy store in the center of town (can’t remember the name) that sold the cutest toys. Here they sold a cute, rubber giraffe that looked similar to the one Esther had.  Of course, I had to have it.  (And I bought one for Esther too).

As we walked the streets of Brussels (the giraffe in the hands of my slobbering baby), strangers stopped to talk to us in French. I don’t understand French (I wish I did), but what I could understand is that they were talking about someone called Sophie.  Who in the world is Sophie? Later, our Belgian friends explained to us that the giraffe was called Sophie, but that it wasn’t actually the real one–it was a fake.   A fake? If it keeps your baby happy, who cares? (But secretly, I had to find the real one)!

A few months later Esther came back from a holiday in France and brought us a gift: Sophie- the original.

Sophie la Girafe has been hand-made in the French Alps since 1961. Made of the best-quality rubber and non-toxic paint,  she was designed to stimulate the senses and soothe teething gums.   She’s famous in France (and apparently Belgium). Every baby loves her.  She’s the perfect size for little hands to grasp, and perfect to chew on.

We have a collection of Sophies: one real and three fakes. We come home with a new one every time we go to France.  They’re all rubber and squeak when you squeeze them.  My boys love them ALL, but the real one is, of course, my favorite.

You can buy her on-line in the UK here, and she’s even available in the states here.


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