Book Cover

A little boy connects with his
African-immigrant grandfather over a shared loved of the “big five” animals of
Grandpa’s homeland.

On a five-day visit to his grandfather’s house, Danny enjoys
the paintings and colorful masks on prominent display. Grandpa commits to
teaching Danny about the big five animals, with each one designated to a day
throughout Danny’s visit. From Monday through Friday, Danny’s grandfather tells
him about elephants, lions, rhinoceroses, leopards, and buffalo, introducing
them by their attributes via a guessing game. “The third animal has thick skin and two horns on his nose,”
prompts Grandpa, to which Danny responds: “That’s the rhino!” Grandpa then adds, “Do you know what a rhino is good at? Grazing!” Abbot’s colorful illustrations are
jovial and heartwarming, adding amusing details, such as a depiction of a
smiling rhino with grass drooping from its mouth next to Grandpa and Danny,
similarly munching on cucumbers. While talking about these animals, Danny and
his grandfather play and learn and make a host of diverse friends along the
way. The African country that is Grandpa’s homeland is never specified, but
perhaps it is South Africa, where the Dutch author traces part of her heritage.
Grandpa has deep brown skin and graying black hair while his grandson has tan
skin and fluffy brown hair.

A sweet celebration of family and introduction to some
perennially popular animals. (Picture book. 3-6)

kirkusreviews.com

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