Official Review: The Monkey and the Rhino by Daniel Murray

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Bianka Walter
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Official Review: The Monkey and the Rhino by Daniel Murray

Post by Bianka Walter » 21 May 2019, 13:57

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Monkey and the Rhino" by Daniel Murray.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Children’s books are always touch-and-go when it comes to their content and meaning. Every now and then, one comes across a real gem. This is that gem. I cannot give higher praise to Daniel Murray for his well-thought-out and thoroughly enjoyable book, The Monkey and the Rhino. In his book, the monkey is struggling with his identity and trying to be more like the rhino so as not to get hurt in the hail. Seeing as the rhino has such a thick skin, he suggests that the monkey simply form one, too. This leads to some interesting escapades for the monkey.

The thought of forming a thick skin is not lost on most adults. It has a double meaning in this book, though, because the monkey is not only being forced to change who he is, but also to not let it upset him. The rhino is simply saying, ‘be like me,’ but he doesn’t realise that every animal is an individual; there are also other ways to overcome obstacles.

This is such a small but significant lesson for children. Especially in today’s world where cruelties like bullying exist. I think this is a fantastic book to read to young children in the 3 to 6 age bracket, but I also think it will be beneficial for older kids that are developing their reading skills. At this age, children are still learning to be compassionate, and this is a great tool to help them develop.

The illustrations are simple and colourful, and they are also capable of telling the story on their own. Because of this, The Monkey and The Rhino is a book that younger kids will want to read repeatedly. This further enhances the wonderful message of the book.

There is one glaring error: the names of the animals have all been capitalised. Now, I would have no problem if the rhino’s name was Rhino, but they were referred to as ‘the Monkey’ and ‘the Rhino’ the entire book through. The same was true for the other animals. Because this book is so stellar, I assume that the author perhaps has some reason for this, but without explanation, I can’t figure it out. I have pondered what to do about this back and forth a hundred times. I don’t feel that this book deserves to lose a star, so I have lumped the capitalisation faux pas into a single error. This leaves the book with a grand total of one error. I implore the author to either rectify or to explain.

Accepting unique qualities and celebrating people’s differences are things that we should all aspire to do. If I could rate this book more, I would. As it is, a solid four out of four stars is absolutely befitting. As mentioned, this book is aimed at younger children, however, the message in the book has further-reaching designs. This is a book that adults could also learn a thing or two from. With understanding comes tolerance and ultimately acceptance. Hopefully, of oneself and others. I have personally taken a page out of this book and will try to remember that, maybe, my way is not always the only way.

******
The Monkey and the Rhino
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ButterscotchCherrie
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Post by ButterscotchCherrie » 23 May 2019, 14:16

This book contains an excellent message, perhaps even inviting those of us without thick hides to celebrate that. I wonder if the author was going for a Rudyard Kipling Just So Stories effect with the capitalisation.

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Post by Zeix » 23 May 2019, 14:22

Fantasy doesn't seem to be such a bad thing. As for the book I would maybe buy it for my siblings. The review was actually good in real sense.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 23 May 2019, 14:40

I adore children's books. I love this book's message, and based on your entertaining review, I agree with your rating.

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Post by Nisha Ward » 23 May 2019, 15:38

Often the most well-intentioned advice is the worst, so while I think, from your review, the Rhino means well, it's good that you emphasised everyone being unique. It sounds like a wonderful book for little kids.
"...while a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well." - Terry Pratchett on The Last Continent and his writing.

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Post by Bianka Walter » 24 May 2019, 03:58

ButterscotchCherrie wrote:
23 May 2019, 14:16
This book contains an excellent message, perhaps even inviting those of us without thick hides to celebrate that. I wonder if the author was going for a Rudyard Kipling Just So Stories effect with the capitalisation.
The editing is so good that I'm sure it must be something like that. Or something else. I just don't know!
And I loved the Just So Stories just as much. I had actually forgotten about them up until this very moment. Now I'm going to go find them again :)
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Post by Bianka Walter » 24 May 2019, 03:59

Zeix wrote:
23 May 2019, 14:22
Fantasy doesn't seem to be such a bad thing. As for the book I would maybe buy it for my siblings. The review was actually good in real sense.
Thanks for stopping by :)
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Post by Bianka Walter » 24 May 2019, 04:26

Cecilia_L wrote:
23 May 2019, 14:40
I adore children's books. I love this book's message, and based on your entertaining review, I agree with your rating.
Thanks, Cecilia :)
And thanks for your help in getting me there!
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Post by Bianka Walter » 24 May 2019, 04:27

Nisha Ward wrote:
23 May 2019, 15:38
Often the most well-intentioned advice is the worst, so while I think, from your review, the Rhino means well, it's good that you emphasised everyone being unique. It sounds like a wonderful book for little kids.
It really is a wonderful book!
And I agree, what's the saying about good intentions? Something about the road to hell... or something.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
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Post by Uinto » 24 May 2019, 06:27

From your review, this looks like an enjoyable children’s book that I would like to read. Thanks for the review.

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Post by gen_g » 24 May 2019, 10:00

This seems like one of those rare books that contains both fun and meaning, especially when it's for children. I would definitely like to know more about the capitalisation issue as well - perhaps it is an oversight? Or maybe it is something else. Still, thank you for the stunning review, Bianka! (:

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Post by Bianka Walter » 24 May 2019, 12:14

Uinto wrote:
24 May 2019, 06:27
From your review, this looks like an enjoyable children’s book that I would like to read. Thanks for the review.
I think anyone would enjoy this one :)
Thanks for the comments!
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Post by Bianka Walter » 24 May 2019, 12:16

gen_g wrote:
24 May 2019, 10:00
This seems like one of those rare books that contains both fun and meaning, especially when it's for children. I would definitely like to know more about the capitalisation issue as well - perhaps it is an oversight? Or maybe it is something else. Still, thank you for the stunning review, Bianka! (:
I just don't see how it could be an oversight. But you never know. Sometimes these things slip under our radar.
For instance, I had TWO errors in this review :shock: first time in a looooooong time that's happened! Nice to be kept on our toes, right?
Gen, your comments always make me smile, thank YOU!
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Post by Ellylion » 24 May 2019, 14:26

Sounds like a beautiful, very well illustrated children's book that also carries out some adult wisdom. A great gift for every kid! Thank you for the review! :)

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Post by Rachel Lea » 24 May 2019, 15:06

This sounds like a well-written book with an awesome message. It's great to see good literature out there for children. Thanks for your review!
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