August 30, 2016

Rhino Rumpus

by Victoria Allenby
Illustrated by Tara Anderson
Pajama Press
24 pp.
Ages 2-4
August 2016

Victoria Allenby and Tara Anderson, the author-illustrator duo who brought us Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That (Pajama Press, 2013), have returned with another picture book for our littlest ones, this time focusing on the sibling antics of three rhinos as their mother attempts to bring them to some degree of harmony.
From Rhino Rumpus 
by Victoria Allenby, illus. by Tara Anderson
From page one, the three little rhinos are forever being unruly: rude, in a mood, tussling.  And Mama rhino has to interject and bring them in line.  Dinner time is not much different, and Mama sends them to get ready for bed.   Even bathtime (whose illustration is the “magic page” i.e., the cover art) involves a lot of pushing and boisterous escapades that Mama rhino rumbles to a stop with an emphatic “Quiet!”  Teeth brushing, a story and song, and a plea to “And when you wake, please get along!” signals the ultimate family hug and the blissful stillness that is sleep.

The text is perfect for toddlers who will delight in its simplicity and sounds, while those children who are just learning to read will be pleased to test themselves on the easy-to-read rhyming lines and repetition of numbers (e.g., One little rhino…, Two little rhinos…, Three little rhinos…).  I suspect that Victoria Allenby who dedicates the book to her nieces “who ALWAYS get along” has witnessed similar naughtiness but, by experiencing it with love and affection, she has given it a boisterous comic feel to it, something that will lighten the mood for any parent (or aunt!) who has to brave it and strive for calm.  Similarly, Tara Anderson, who dedicates the book to her own little one, animates the text with her coloured pencil illustrations that convey exuberance, joy, mischief and affection with each stroke.  Never is there anger or hostility between the siblings or directed at the little rhinos, and the message of patience in parenting is conveyed with fun and warmth and caring.
From Rhino Rumpus 
by Victoria Allenby, illus. by Tara Anderson
Rhino Rumpus will undoubtedly become the go-to book for families with young ones who get into squabbles, both for parents who need to recognize that children learn through play, even boisterous play, and for children who need to see that parental love is a gift that should not be overlooked, even if it does need a rest occasionally.
From Rhino Rumpus 
by Victoria Allenby, illus. by Tara Anderson

No comments:

Post a Comment