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Rhino, What Rhino? by Caryl Hart is a rhyming picture book about the adventures of a rhino who escapes from the local zoo.

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Determined to make his way in the world and never go back to the zoo, the rhino cuts a swathe through the area, stealing food from the farmer, clothes from a rather strange and conveniently rhino shaped lady, and a tree house from a rather annoyed young girl.

The farm yard animals get the blame for all this vandalism and theft.  Knowing it’s the rhino they try to make their case but nobody believes them. Everyone knows the only rhino in town lives in the zoo.

The animals confront the rhino and come up with a solution that works for everyone.

This is a very silly, rather funny book in the kind of traditional call and response form, along with the inevitable list of animals who are all accused, and who thus give you, the reader the chance to exercise your best animal noises voice.

It’s not terribly original and it’s not going to set the children’s publishing world on fire, but it is fun, short and entertaining. Perfect for children, both boys and girls, aged from two to five. The illustrations are bright and busy and give you a lot of humorous points to draw out of the text.  It’s great for pre school and early years teaching.  I liked the fact that the animals taught the rhino a lesson or two about good behaviour without it being too syrupy and sweet. I also liked the fact that they were able to come to a compromise with the rhino about what everyone wanted rather than make the misguided rhino a scapegoat –

or scape rhino

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