A little boy connects with his African-immigrant grandfather over a shared loved of the “big five” animals of Grandpa’s homeland.
On a five-day visit to his grandfather’s house, Danny enjoys the paintings and colorful masks on prominent display. Grandpa commits to teaching Danny about the big five animals, with each one designated to a day throughout Danny’s visit. From Monday through Friday, Danny’s grandfather tells him about elephants, lions, rhinoceroses, leopards, and buffalo, introducing them by their attributes via a guessing game. “The third animal has thick skin and two horns on his nose,” prompts Grandpa, to which Danny responds: “That’s the rhino!” Grandpa then adds, “Do you know what a rhino is good at? Grazing!” Abbot’s colorful illustrations are jovial and heartwarming, adding amusing details, such as a depiction of a smiling rhino with grass drooping from its mouth next to Grandpa and Danny, similarly munching on cucumbers. While talking about these animals, Danny and his grandfather play and learn and make a host of diverse friends along the way. The African country that is Grandpa’s homeland is never specified, but perhaps it is South Africa, where the Dutch author traces part of her heritage. Grandpa has deep brown skin and graying black hair while his grandson has tan skin and fluffy brown hair.
A sweet celebration of family and introduction to some perennially popular animals. (Picture book. 3-6)