Rhinos Who Surf

Julie Mammano, Author Chronicle Books $13.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8118-1000-5
Everybody's heard about the surfer bird, but rhinos ride the waves too, according to Mammano's exuberant debut. In this account of an ideal surfing day, three amiable rhinos in patterned Bermuda shorts wake up, stampede to their yellow VW Bug and zoom to the beach, where they hungrily eye the whitecaps. Wasting no time, they jump on their boards: ""Rhinos who surf have no fear of MONDO waves.... they SHOOT THE TUBE and are WAY COOL in the GREEN ROOM."" The illustrations are as contemporary as the slang. Mammano fills each full-bleed page with zigzags, concentric circles and seaweedy squiggles; the backgrounds resemble an intricate batik or a Hawaiian shirt, in watery blue-green and sunset orange hues, while the smiling rhinos might be tiki-style statues carved from gray lava rock. The chunky, curving lines of text complement the imagery, following the characters as they perform ""killer aerials,"" ""go vertical"" or fall into the underwater ""rinse cycle."" In the glossary at the end of the book, Mammano provides no fewer than five synonyms for ""very"" (""full-on,"" ""fully,"" ""major,"" ""totally"" and ""way""). Radabonzical! Ages 2-6. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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