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Children's Fiction Bedtime & Dreams

Rhino Rumpus

by (author) Victoria Allenby

illustrated by Tara Anderson

Pajama Press Inc.
Initial publish date
Sep 2016
Bedtime & Dreams, Siblings, Hippos & Rhinos, Humorous Stories
Recommended Age
2 to 4
Recommended Grade
p to k
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


In bouncing rhyme, three rhino siblings squabble and spat their way through their bedtime routine. When they realize how tired their bickering has made Mama Rhino, the three find common ground in giving her a sweet surprise.

Three little rhinos are having trouble getting along as Mama tries to coax them through the evening routine. Will they fidget, fuss, and fight right up until bedtime? Or will their Mama’s love help them find some common ground?

Victoria Allenby and Tara Anderson, the award-winning author-illustrator team behind Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That, return with a lively story that will warm the heart of any frazzled parent.

Children will find mischievous delight in the young rhinos’ misbehaviour, told in bouncing rhyme and energetic illustrations that blend true rhino form with an imaginative setting. And ultimately they, like the rhino siblings, may be inspired to acknowledge and reward their parents’ patient love.


About the authors

Victoria Allenby has been writing poetry and stories for as long as she can remember. Her debut picture book, Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That, won the 2014 Preschool Reads Award and was nominated for the 2015 SYRCA Shining Willow Award. She has followed up the success of this debut with the critically acclaimed early readers Timo's Garden, Timo's Party, and Timo Goes Camping, as well as several picture books, including Shape Up, Construction Trucks! which has earned multiple starred reviews, and the 2021 title Listen Up! Train Song. Victoria lives in Toronto, Ontario.


Victoria Allenby's profile page

A folk artist and award-winning illustrator who trained at the Ontario College of Art and Design, Tara Anderson is known for her lively and humorous animal illustrations. Her most recent work includes spot illustrations of a quirky little hamster in Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life, and beautiful coloured-pencil illustrations of a boisterous family of rhinos in Rhino Rumpus. Her debut That Stripy Cat was followed with Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That, which won the 2014 Preschool Reads Award and was nominated for the 2015 SYRCA Shining Willow Award. The antics of Nat and his kitten friend are inspired by the cats who roam her farmhouse in Tweed, Ontario, where she lives with her husband and daughter.

Tara Anderson's profile page


  • Commended, Best Books for Kids & Teens Starred Selection
  • Commended, Resource Links "The Year's Best"

Excerpt: Rhino Rumpus (by (author) Victoria Allenby; illustrated by Tara Anderson)

One little rhino in a mood. Two little rhinos acting rude. Three little rhinos tussling, fighting. Mama rhino cries, "No biting!"

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Rhino Rumpus

2017 Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens Starred Selection

2016 Resource Links "The Year's Best" selection

"This romp of a picture book for very young audiences begs to be read aloud....Adult readers should be prepared to harrumph, gripe, snipe, grumble, and roar. The pencil-and-crayon illustrations do an effective job of conveying the mayhem, and the facial expressions add to the general hilarity. While this would be a great choice for library storytime, it's not really recommended for bedtime [because] most young readers will be way too riled up."—Booklist

"This selection will certainly strike a familiar chord with squabbling siblings and their frazzled parents..."—School Library Journal

"A playful celebration of both the commotion of daily life and the love among members of a family."—Publishers Weekly

"Thanks to its bubbly rhythm, Rhino Rumpus is a great candidate for story time with toddlers. The energetic language and rhymes are made to be read aloud and the illustrations are equally as exciting and expressive. Preschoolers with siblings (or parents with rambunctious little rhinos of their own) will relate to this story and have a lot of fun reading together."—Resource Links

"The fun story is replete with lovely, large-size drawings of young rhinos at play: the very young picture book readers will relish these lively images and the very easy read."—Midwest Book Review

"Tara Anderson's folksy pencil crayon and acrylic illustrations show the squabbling siblings in all of their mischievous glory....Victoria Allenby's zippy verse is full of repetition, and fun sound words like 'Fidget fuss frump', 'Huff harrumph' and 'Grump grumble Bump-a-rump'. Rhino Rumpus is a rollicking read-aloud and a great choice for toddler storytimes."—CM Magazine

"This is an action packed story...told in rhyme that flows nicely and the illustrations capture the energy that the rhinos have."—Youth Services Book Review

"I liked this book; it was so funny! It made me think of when it's time for me to go to bed and I drive my mama crazy by running around....But then she'll read me a book and snuggle with me so that I can relax and fall asleep."—Brian, Age 5, Kids' BookBuzz

"The text is perfect for toddlers who will delight in its simplicity and sounds....Tara Anderson...animates the text with her coloured pencil illustrations that convey exuberance, joy, mischief and affection with each stroke."—CanLit for LittleCanadians

"This is definitely a book all moms can understand. Being a mom is tough work, being a mom is tiring, but we all think our little ones are the best ever!"—All Booked Up Now


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