ONCE UPON A SMALL RHINOCEROS, Meg McKinlay, ill Leila Rudge, Walker Books, 2017, ISBN 9781925126709, Hb. $24.99


Once there was a small rhinoceros who lived with her family on the river bank. She wanted to see further than her home. So she decided to build a boat to sail away and see the world. None of her family thought she could do it.

Despite the odds of a small rhinoceros being able to build a boat and then navigate it safely across the world, she manages to do just that. She has wonderfully colourful adventures …more things than a rhinoceros could ever have imagined.

As well as the adventures she also finds that while places are different there are still similarities with her own home –there is mud and grass and trees to be found in many places.

Will the small rhinoceros ever go home? Will she remain safe in all her adventures?

You will need to read this wonderful book and find out.

This is a true picture story book where the illustrations work beautifully with the text to not only help tell the story but add so much more for the young reader to enjoy and discover. My favourite double page spread is the comparison between night and day while the small rhinoceros was sailing. While day time is colourful and busy with lots of creatures about, the blue grey of night is a quiet time when small rhinoceros is alone but still safe; a terrific way of reassuring children who are afraid of the dark.

This story is a simple yet inspirational tale with many underlying themes that can be fleshed out by teachers and parents.


Sharon Greenaway

ps. for more book reviews of children’s literature go to my Wondrous Words website







Published by sharongreenaway

Bachelor of Visual Arts (Photography), Latrobe University.

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