Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros? (Review)

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  • BookWho Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros?
  • Author/Illustrator: Shel Silverstein
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing (August 31, 2002)
  • Format: Picture Book, Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0689851131
  • Genre: Juvenile Fiction
  • Ages: 3 – 8 years

Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros? (Review)


Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros? is a silly book about how a rhinoceros might be useful in your home.

My Thoughts

We all know and love Shel Silverstein! With great classics like Where the Sidewalk EndsA Light in the Attic, and The Giving Tree, it’s no surprise that this lesser known book is just as enjoyable. It starts out with a poem about a rhinoceros for sale, and how sweet and fat and huggable he is, then goes on to describe just how useful he might be around your house. Things like jumping rope, and eating scraps from your table will have your little reader chuckling as you read along. Silverstein also touches on some tasks that a rhinoceros might not be so great at, like opening doors.

The format starts as a poem and then breaks away into short statements, with black and white illustrations for each goofy thing a rhinoceros might do. I was a bit thrown off by this at first, because I expected the poem to continue throughout the whole book. As I read it aloud to the kids, I noticed that they rather enjoyed the lack of structure. The nature of the story led them into their own commentary and observations. The format was very interactive and led us into a conversation about how poems are different than normal story telling. As an added bonus, you get lots of illustrations for one story, which is unlike other Silverstein poems.

As we read along, my 4 and 2 year old loved talking about what they thought was silly, and what they might like to try with our own pet (our poor chihuahua!). The illustrations have the rhino doing some funny poses, and those really had the kids giggling. Overall a great snuggle up and laugh book!

Use This Book

Some themes that might go along with this book for preschool or kindergarten are:

  • Animals
  • Letter R
  • Pets
  • Poetry
  • Rhyming
About Jenna Caldwell

Jenna is a stay at home mom to a 4 and 2 year old. She is passionate about engaging littles in play based learning and cuddling up to read as many books as they will listen to. She blogs when she is taking a break from activities and laundry: http://casualhomeschool.blogspot.com/.

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