Preposterous Rhinoceros (Early Reader) by Tracy Gunaratnam and Marta Costa

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Preposterous Rhinoceros (Early Reader) by Tracy Gunaratnam and Marta Costa

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Buy Preposterous Rhinoceros (Early Reader) by Tracy Gunaratnam and Marta Costa at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Adapted from the picture book of the same name, Preposterous Rhinocerous is a book band turquoise early reader which will appeal to boys and girls alike.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: August 2015
Publisher: Maverick Arts Publishing
ISBN: 9781848861800

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We first met King Lion and Preposterous Rhinocerous in a picture book and here's what our reviewer, Sam, had to say about it:

Reading is easy! You may say that, after all you are reading this very review. However, if you had never read a book before and someone gave you one, would you know what to do? When King Lion loses his voice, Preposterous Rhinoceros thinks he can help, but it takes more than just hope to read a book aloud. Will Rhino figure out what to do before the other animals get restless?

A children's reading book about learning how to read seems a little meta, but when the book is as well thought out and as sweet as Tracy Gunaratnam's 'Preposterous Rhinoceros', it is not an issue. Rhino is a very likable, if slightly clueless, character who assumes that by just holding a book the words will appear. For anyone who has ever tried to teach a child to read, this is certainly not the case. It takes time and patience, but eventually the wonderful world of the written word is opened up.

The fun is not only found seeing Rhino learn to read, but in some of the daft ideas he has. When he is told that a book should be read, he rushes off to buy red paint. When told to just dive into a book, he climbs a tall cliff and prepares to jump off. Rhino may be a little haphazard, but at least he is enthusiastic about wanting to read. It's Shy Salamander who is the voice of reason, finally getting through to Rhino that he needs to spend some time learning his words. There is a magic in how Rhino takes a jumble of letters and begins to form meaning in them. Illustrator Marta Costa has created a particularly beautiful double page spread that shows this transformation and it will inspire the youngster sharing the book with you.

The story is charming and any bibliophile will enjoy the message that it passes on to the youth, but that is not always enough to engage a hyperactive toddler. Thankfully, Costa has created images that are packed with colour and capture the attention. With a relatively simple story it would be easy to have little going on in the background, but that is not the case. Each page has at least one hidden gem to discover, be it a hidden salamander or a Toucan talking to his Australian friend. This is the type of sharing book that lasts repeat readings due to the fact that you can read the story, but also talk around what is happening on the page.

With a sweet central character who acts before he thinks, 'Preposterous Rhinoceros' is a perfect book for sharing. The story is well told and funny; full of nice ideas about the misinterpretation of words. Throw in some wonderful illustrations and this book will lead to some fun reading sessions.

Thanks, Sam!

Those lovely people at Maverick Arts have now converted the original picture book into an early reader. The format is smaller - more in line with 'book' rather than 'picture book' size, but it would still work well as a picture book as the gorgeous illustrations are still there. The vocabulary is challenging in places but presented in a clear font which is a pleasure to read. There's a slight gloss on the page, but not so much as to be distracting and the paper is of a good-enough quality to prevent bleed-through from the reverse of the page which can confuse new readers or those with dyslexia. It's a classy early reader!

Can't get enough Rhino based fiction? Try Rhino? What Rhino? by Caryl Hart and Sarah Horne. Perhaps you want to see King Lion in full voice; ROAR! by Margaret Mayo and Alex Ayliffe. For another book band turquoise early reader we can recommend Hocus Pocus Diplodocus (Early Reader) by Steve Howson and Kate Daubney.

Buy Preposterous Rhinoceros (Early Reader) by Tracy Gunaratnam and Marta Costa at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Preposterous Rhinoceros (Early Reader) by Tracy Gunaratnam and Marta Costa at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Preposterous Rhinoceros (Early Reader) by Tracy Gunaratnam and Marta Costa at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Preposterous Rhinoceros (Early Reader) by Tracy Gunaratnam and Marta Costa at Amazon.com.

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