Last: The Story of a White Rhino

How do we ensure our children will care about the world they live in? For starters, they need to fall in love with it. They need to build a connection with the land, plants, and animals that inhabit it. One way we can help nurture a child’s love for the world is by sharing books, like Last: The Story of a White Rhino, by Nicola Davies, that help them forge a connection with animals they may not otherwise come in contact with.

Last: The Story of a White Rhino tells the true story of the last male Northern White Rhino, Sudan, who was taken from his home in Africa to a zoo in the Czech Republic. There he, along with the other animals, were left to pace in a bleak, gray city, far away from the colorful world they once loved. Five years after his arrival, he is returned to his native land, to the colors, sights and smells he missed, a place of hope.

Davies’ simple, carefully crafted text, along with powerful illustrations, make this a great introduction to conservation for any age group. The way Davies contrasts the dark, gray, world of the city to the vibrant wild helps even the youngest reader understand where Sudan belongs. She is able to help forge a connection between animal and reader through the animal’s eyes and their subtle facial expressions. The scenes of Sudan and his mother are especially powerful in encouraging empathy towards animals.

This is an outstanding stand-alone book, however, for older kids, Last: The Story of a White Rhino would be a great jumping off point to begin research on endangered and extinct animals, conservation efforts for endangered species, and changes in the planet’s biodiversity over time. Younger kids may enjoy spending more time looking at the illustrations, and reading other books about animals that are endangered.

Last: The Story of a White Rhino is a book I am excited to add to our home library. Thank you Publisher Spotlight for sending us our copy. It is truly an outstanding book. It will be added to my “Conservation” book list on the “Topical Book List” page.

The outstanding teacher materials pictured can be found on Tiny Owl Publishing in the Teacher Resources Section.

This book can be found in my Bookshop Shop. Bookshop supports small book store culture by making a donation to independently owned book stores every time you purchase through their site.

*Links may be affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you order through a link, which allows me to continue to buy new books to review.*

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