• NZ Booklovers

What Do You Need Little Rhino? by John J Lewis

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

What do you need Little Rhino? tells the story of a very grumpy, very upset and very frustrated little rhino who just can’t seem to calm down.

It seems no matter what anyone tries to help them just will not and could not work. Not the silly deep breathing, not the questions from her mum and dad, nothing.

Sometimes we all get angry and can’t say exactly what is wrong or how it all started. We are just mad. And in those moments John Lewis captures the ideas of how to deal with it. While everyone around you wants to try and make it right by offering this, that and the other, you just want to scream and run away.

What do you need Little Rhino? looks at the world through the eyes of the frustrated young. As adults we always seem to be seeking a rationale for the outburst or to placate the situation as best as possible, when sometimes it’s just about expressing emotion and receiving love and comfort.

‘Things’ are not always the solution, rather it is the personal connection of a cuddle that brings about change in these moments.

A number of the promotions around the book use the word ‘delightful’ to describe the book - and there are few better words. It really is a delight to see children respond to the feelings and frustrations of little rhino. There is a real reflection of themselves in the writing and an opportunity to respond to the content in a meaningful way. Parents will enjoy this as much as the children.

Reviewer: Chris Reed

Upstart Press