Preposterous Rhinoceros by Tracy Gunaratnam and Marta Costa

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Preposterous Rhinoceros by Tracy Gunaratnam and Marta Costa

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: "ROOOOAAAArrrrrr", *cough* *cough*. King Lion has lost his voice and there is no one to read a bedtime story. Step forward one Preposterous Rhinoceros who thinks he can do the job, but can't even read! Follow Rhino on his fun discovery about reading and laugh at some of his daft antics.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: January 2015
Publisher: Maverick Arts Publishing
ISBN: 9781848861657

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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.

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.

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


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


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