‘I Know A Rhino’ (2002 Gullane Children’s Books) is written and illustrated by the award winning illustrator Charles Fuge.
The book benefits from Fuge’s gift for illustration. His pictures burst from the page in a cuddly loveliness that children must adore. The different animals are drawn brilliantly in his original style that lifts this book out of the ordinary.
It was a pity that his words didn’t get edited well. The book is written in rhyming couplets but they occasionally don’t fit – something that would have been obvious and easy to fix. For example:
‘I know an ape and we keep in good shape, miming pop songs and dancing along to a tape’.
Why didn’t his editor suggest cutting out ‘and dancing’ to make it scan better? ‘Miming pop songs along to a tape’ works much better. Strange. There are other examples as well that could have easily been sorted out.
However, as imperfect as the book is it still had worked well enough with my children to be used regularly. It’s more for very small children but the ending will have to be explained to them. Despite this, they love it.
Good – but not quite great.