WITH more than four million copies sold worldwide and a favourite on children’s bookshelves for nearly 20 years, Giraffes Can’t Dance has earned its place as a number one bestseller.

It was written in 1999 by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Fiveways-based artist Guy Parker-Rees.

To celebrate the upcoming 20th anniversary, Guy devoted his snail design for the Snailspace art trail to the book’s star Gerald the giraffe and his friends from the jungle.

Brighton and Hove is curently home to 50 large snails, all differently coloured, which are raising funds for the Martlets hospice in Hove.

Guy’s snail, which is called Snails Can’t Dance, is sponsored by Lewes-based communications company Captiv8 and is on the western edge of Steine Gardens.

Guy, currently working on another book about an elephant with the same author, said: “I think it’s the message behind the story that has made Giraffes Can’t Dance so popular.

“It’s a lovely story, it’s about doing your own thing and finding what you’re good at, which I think has resonated with a lot of parents.”

He thought about that message throughout the process of painting his snail, which took two months and which he describes as a “labour of love”.

He added: “There were so many different artistic approaches, there were sign writers, street artists and illustrators all working side by side. It was fascinating to watch the snails evolve and there’s a huge spectrum of designs, meaning everyone can find a snail that resonates with them.”

Guy also painted a giraffe-themed mural at the family centre at Lewes Prison.

“It used to look old and tacky in there, so I wanted to create something fun for the children,” he said.

He has already visited a number of the snails and said: “It is really good fun walking around the snails, and seeing people’s reactions.

“I’ve seen children saying to their parents, ‘Look, it’s Gerald’ when they see my snail.”

Guy and Captiv8 are running a competition for the best dance-move selfie with Snails Can’t Dance.

Post your selfie on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #snailscantdance.

The prize for the best entry is a signed painting of Gerald and a signed, limited edition anniversary edition of the book. Entries are welcomed until the end of the campaign on November 18.