Lulu Is A Rhinoceros (Jason Flom with Allison Flom)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Lulu Is A Rhinoceros, written by Jason Flom with Allison Flom and illustrated by Sophie Corrigan, a delightful story about being yourself.

Meet Lulu: on the outside, she looks like a bulldog, but when Lulu looks in the mirror, she sees… a rhinoceros. And sure, her skin may be furry and soft instead of tough and plated, and her tail may be short and nubby instead of tufted and whippy, but none of that matters – in her heart, she knows that she is a rhinoceros. Lulu decides that the thing she needs to make others see her as she sees herself is a horn. She tries several possibilities – a stinky sock, an ice cream cone, a banana peel – but nothing works out. She even gets laughed at or stared at, and has her banana peel stolen by birds. Will Lulu ever find a way to make others see her as she is? Or perhaps, the right friends will find her instead…

Lovely. Lulu’s story serves as a metaphor for identity, and helps convey to children that who we are on the outside, or who the world perceives is to be, can often be at odds with the person we truly are. The world may insist that Lulu is a very confused bulldog – until she meets a tickbird who recognizes her for who she is (Lulu is in a rhino exhibit at a zoo – why wouldn’t she be a rhino?). The message is an honest yet hopeful one: sometimes the world will refuse to see you for yourself, so find the friends and places that do, and they will help you be who you are. The illustrations are delightful, particularly Lulu’s incredibly expressive face and body language. And the length was fine, and JJ loved it. A great way to discuss identity with little ones, and we liked it a lot. Baby Bookworm approved!