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|Secret rhino society|
Author: Jacobs, Jonathan E.
A hippo, a worm, and a light bulb form a club to celebrate their favorite animal, the rhinoceros. But when the trio actually meets a rhino, they are disappointed to find she is not what they expected.
Kirkus Reviews (-) (03/01/20)
School Library Journal (04/01/20)
Booklist (+) (03/15/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/15/2020 *Starred Review* This wonderfully witty tale features three best friends: Hudson, a hippo; Fran, a worm; and Jean, a gender-neutral lightbulb who prefers the pronoun they. All three are fascinated by rhinoceroses. Hudson admires their speed, Fran finds them delightfully intimidating, and Jean is impressed with their sturdy, unbreakable horns. Imagine their surprise when there's a knock on their secret rhino admiration society clubhouse door, and there stands an actual rhinoceros! Hudson puts in a request for a charging demonstration, or perhaps some snorting, or maybe some horn-sharpening tips. The rather puzzled rhino, Ivy, explains that she's come from the garden shop and is delivering a load of plants. The three friends regroup and invite Ivy in for cheese and pickle sandwiches. Ivy thoroughly enjoys her snack and suggests that the trio open up a sandwich shop. And they do! Hudson creates a menu, Fran works on recipes, Jean takes care of mood lighting, and Ivy is in charge of landscaping. The amazing illustrations (hand-built 3-D sets on painted cardboard) perfectly complement the offbeat humor and gentle nudges about avoiding stereotypes and expected behaviors. This engaging romp will be a great way to initiate conversations about diversity, tolerance, and acceptance. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2020 PreS-Gr 2—A hippo, a worm, and a sentient light bulb grapple with upended expectations in this quirky tale. Each member of the unique trio wishes to be a rhinoceros—based on their own assumptions of that animal's virtues—and they are all surprised when they meet a real rhino who behaves unlike their imagined object of admiration. Jacobs's narrative of friendship and expectations feels both specific and disjointed at the same time, with offbeat details standing in for a thin plot. The book's charm derives primarily from Cotterill's crafty illustrations: hand-drawn figures photographed within cozy, 3-D sets. These detailed dioramas, replete with floral flourishes and rhino patterns, attract the reader's eye but often prove more inviting than the characters being illustrated. VERDICT Ultimately, the story lacks heft and coherence, delivering pleasant moments without enough substance or humor to justify joining the club.—Robbin E. Friedman, Chappaqua Library, NY - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/15/2020 - Copyright 2020 Booklist.