Book review: I’m In Charge!, by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Jarvis

Willis, Jeanne. I’m In Charge! Illustrated by Jarvis. Nosy Crow/Candlewick Press, 2018. Unpaged. $16.99. ISBN 978-1536202595. Ages 2-6. P7 Q8

Little Rhino runs around telling all the animals that he is in charge, being sort of a bully. He says he makes the rules and he doesn’t want to share. But things happen that change his mind. The colors and simple illustrations are fabulous-very simple yet effective artwork. The words are ones that are best said aloud at story time with great volume as little rhino shouts a lot. The lesson is lightly given at the end.

VERDICT: This was mostly fun for the artwork and joy of reading it aloud. Very young children will enjoy this book. It gives a reason to chat about why being a bully isn’t a good thing.

January 2020 review by Lynne Wright.

Book review: Rhinos Don’t Eat Pancakes, by Anna Kemp, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie

Kemp, Anna. Rhinos Don’t Eat Pancakes. Illustrated by Sara Ogilvie. Simon & Schuster, 2011. Unpaged. $16.99.  ISBN 978-1-4814-3845-2. Ages 5-8. P7Q8

Daisy can’t get her parents to listen, they are always too busy, so when a purple pancake eating rhino shows up Daisy is delighted.  He listens to Daisy. Daisy tries to tell her parents about him but they don’t believe her. They take her to the zoo to see a real rhino only to find that a big purple pancake eating rhino is missing.  After they get the rhino on the plane for home, her parents listen until she runs out of things to say. Tomorrow however, Daisy would have more to tell.

VERDICT: This story illustrates the importance of listening and being heard.

December 2017 review by Patty Dodson.

Book review: Clara: The (Mostly) True Story of the Rhinoceros Who Dazzled Kings, Inspired Artists, and Won the Hearts of Everyone . . . While She Ate Her Way Up and Down a Continent!, by Emily Arnold McCully

McCully, Emily Arnold. Clara: The (Mostly) True Story of the Rhinoceros Who Dazzled Kings, Inspired Artists, and Won the Hearts of Everyone . . . While She Ate Her Way Up and Down a Continent! Schwartz & Wade, 2016. $17.99. 48p. ISBN 978-0-5535-2246-4. Ages 5-8. P9Q9

mccully-claraA rhinoceros is an odd pet, but Captain Van der Meer brought back one-year-old Clara from India in 1741. He showed her off throughout Europe and managed to keep her for 17 years until Clara’s death by raising money for her appearances. Readers share in the travels throughout the continent when the Prussian king gives money for her care, the French king rejects the captain because he won’t donate Clara to his home at Versailles, and Clara inspires artists and hairdressers in Paris. McCully points out in her closing note that this confinement and exhibition can be considered cruel treatment, but it was the only way that people could see a “mythical beast” before the advent of photography and zoos. Elegant ink and watercolor illustrations picture Clara both in lovable youth and in gentle age—still lovable, and endpapers follow the duo’s journeys across land and sea.

Fall 2016 review by Nel Ward.