A rhino is put in a zoo in the middle of a grey city, where all he can do is pace back and forth. He misses his home, his mother, the smell of earth and rain. He fears he may be the last of his kind. Then one day, he is rescued and released back into the wild, to live free with the other rhinos.
If you are a teacher then I would say that this is most definitely a book that you need in your classroom. When you are working with children you can’t help but look for clever ways to hook them in to difficult subject areas to make them relatable and relevant. ‘Last: The Story of a White Rhino’ is most certainly the perfect hook that will undoubtedly open up discussions around a variety of themes and topics that are imperative in our curriculum.
In this book, Davies tells the story of a rhino who is captured when his mother is killed and is then taken to a zoo before later being rescued and released back into the wild. The one thing that struck me right away about this book was the clever use of colour as it is so remarkable. From my own experience, the meaning behind the use of colour would be easily picked out by learners of all ages providing an opportunity to delve into further discussions around the stark contrast.
Furthermore, there is another story told through the images themselves and that is the story of the girl who sees the rhino in the zoo and is subsequently responsible for his rescue. Highlighted in colour against a dark background she is easily identifiable in several images, which again would allow for an interesting and detailed discussion with learners.
This story could be used in a classroom to open up lines of communication and deep thinking around many themes including sustainability, conservation, animal cruelty and the impact humans have on our environment.
Last: The Story of a White Rhino is an emotional story told through powerful images, emotive language and contrasting colours. A must have for all teachers!
Thank you to Tiny Owl Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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