Saturday, February 4, 2012

Rock & Rhino Learn Responsibility

Rock and Rhino Learn Responsibility is written by Margie Taylor Lisbona and Brock Pfannenstiel. Margie is the grandmother (Ya Ya) and Brock is her young grandson who collaborated with her on the book.

Rock is a happy chicken and Rhino is a sad rhinoceros. Rock is happy because he does everything right while Rhino is sad because he does everything wrong. Rock cleans his room, does his chores, has a place for all his toys and puts them away when he’s done, and earns computer and television privileges because he does things right.

Rhino is just the opposite. His room is messy, he doesn’t do his chores, he can’t find his toys because he doesn’t put them where they belong, and he loses computer and television privileges because he doesn’t do things the right way. In short: Rock is responsible; Rhino isn’t.

This isn’t really a story book, it’s more like a book of lessons. The book is divided into alternating vignettes about Rock and Rhino. We are first introduced to Rhino and then Rock. Then, we are told how Rhino handles chores versus how Rock does them. This format is carried throughout for lessons on putting toys away, keeping things organized, earning computer/television privileges, and having a quiet space of one’s own.

The author has provided the reader notes about assigning jobs to children and making sure they do them; giving them special spaces in the house to keep their things and having them put them away each time they’re used; letting them earn computer and television privileges; and setting up a special place in the house that no one else can enter. All these things are mentioned in the text about Rock and Rhino and are further explained at the end of the book.

The book is designed for parents or care-givers to read to children with discussion to follow. The author has provided a list of questions in the end matter of the book for that purpose, as well.

Colorful, cartoon-like illustrations, by JP Roberts, highlight each chapter of the book.

What I Like: I like the idea of a book of this nature. The idea is to show children the right and wrong way to do things by giving examples of both. The book is also designed to show adult care givers ways to help children change their wrong ways to right ways.

What I Dislike: However, having said that, I’m uncomfortable with the idea that Rocky always does things right and Rhino always does things wrong. No child is perfect (or bad) all the time, no matter how well trained (or untrained) they are. I realize the book is set up this way for a purpose, but I would me more comfortable if the author had suggested that Rock did things the right way most of the time, not by implying he always does the right things.

Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: 4-8.

Publisher Info: Friesen Press, 2011; ISBN: 9781770675308; Paperback, $18.99.

Buy now at $14.44!

Special Info: This is the first book in a planned series of books starring Rock and Rhino and friends. Learn more about the book and its creation at this website.

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