Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros? Hardcover – Sep 1 2009
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About the Author
Shel Silverstein is best known as a children's-book author who wrote and illustrated a number of bestselling books that have charmed millions of readers of all ages. Crossing many artistic boundaries, he was also a noted songwriter and an accomplshed playwright. Silverstein first came to prominence in the 1950s as a cartoonist for Playboy, where he assumed the role of roving ambassador for the up-and-coming magazine. This esteemed assignment -- due in no small part to his friendship with Hugh M. Hefner -- was the auspicious beginning of a most amazing career. Shel Silverstein died in 1999.
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Top Customer Reviews
Let's not go too deep here; if we want literary criticism, one could argue that Shel's objectifying a living creature -- one that may soon be extinct! Rhinos are poached for their horn (among other things), after all, and the rhino in Silverstein's book is often used as an object.
But I don't think that's Silverstein's point; in fact, it's the exact opposite -- how fun to have a friend with whom you can play pirates and "good guy-bad guy" and all kinds of other fun pretend stuff and who will help you out just as you help him -- in short, a friend who is with you through thick and thin, good and bad. We should all be so lucky.
Two key lines that helped me survive college come from this book. "He is awfully good for yelling at . . ." is one, and I'm tearing up (really!) just remembering the line. It's not fair that our rhino friend be the brunt of our sadness or anger, but as a friend he's willing to take it. And then, immediately following, is the book's sweet ending: " . . . and he is easy to love.Read more ›
Quite honestly, I didn't get a real impression of this book. It was--dare I say it?--rather cute. However, judging from the negative review previously posted, perhaps Shel's humor did manage to poke its way through the simplistic narrative and rhyme. In other words, perhaps "Rhinoceros" is worth another look.
Still, I have to wonder--it was the only book of his published at MacMillan (not his usual haunts of S&S and Harper&Row/Collins) and I guess I am curious at the genesis of its publication. But perhaps that is something I shall never know.
We also find out that rhinos are not partial to bathing, and although they will allow themselves to dress up as a girl for Halloween, it's not a favorite with the average male rhino.
By the time this book is over, your kids will be clamoring to go to the store and buy a rhinoceros--and who can blame them! I want one too!
Most recent customer reviews
This looks like another great Silverstein book saved from the obscurity of being first copyrighted in 1964, but perhaps it should have stayed there, as one particular page ruins... Read morePublished on Sept. 10 2002
This book came out when I was four and is one of only two books I remember from my childhood so it holds a special place in my memory. This is a book about love and affection. Read morePublished on Sept. 19 2001
I checked this book out at the library for my 3 1/2 year old. Then we read it - MISTAKE! I should have read it alone first. Read morePublished on July 23 1999