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Rhinocephants on the Roof | Picture Books

Marita van der Vyver , Dale Blankenaar


Daniel was visiting Grandpa and Grandma. Grandpa read him a story about a brave soldier. Grandma sang him a song about a brave mouse running up a clock. Now Daniel had to sleep.

But the bed didn’t feel as comfortable as his own bed. The room looked darker than his own room. And he heard a strange noise on the roof. It sounded like huge, heavy animals dancing and prancing around the chimney.

“Grandpa!” Daniel cried. “Grandpa, I hear something on the roof!”
“What do you hear, Daniel?” Grandpa asked.
“I think it might be rhinocephants, Grandpa. A whole herd of rhinocephants.”

Afrikaans: Olinosters op die dak


+ More Reviews

RHINOCEPHANTS ON THE ROOF by Marita van der Vyver, illustrated by Dale Blankenaar
Review by Jay Heale on Bookchat (May issue)


(Tafelberg 2015; reissue from 1996 with new illustrations)

This shows just how far South African children’s book publishing has grown and advanced. Our artists are now able to handle this kind of technically imaginative complexity; and our publishers are brave enough to risk letting it loose! Cleverly yet simply told, it’s an “I’m afraid of the dark” story with imagined monsters. The 1996 version was illustrated by Piet Grobler. This comes from a former pupil of his, Dale Blankenaar, whose work is stunning. Daniel, visiting Grandpa and Grandma, is aware of “something” on the roof, in the shower, inside a cupboard, under the bed, on the bed … each time closer and closer. Dire imaginings (magnificently visualised) turn into mere nothings – although a furry, purry cat is hardly nothing! With his grandparents’ eccentric help, Daniel finds fresh courage. But look, just look, at those illustrations! Follow the mouse, the cat, the many clocks, and the comforting presence of the teddy bear. Be amazed at the angles and perspectives. Front cover, end-papers, title page – all are part of the visual story in which such creatures as rhinocephants, a crocopotamus, a baborilla are to be expected and wafted away. (Examine the details on the shower curtain!) It’s a book to visit and revisit with delicious fear and high courage, delighting in every detail, the lilt of words, the magic of a night-time adventure. Fabulous. [P]
In Afrikaans: Olinosters op die dak
J Rating ***

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Rhinocephants on the Roof | Picture Books

Author: Marita van der Vyver , Dale Blankenaar
Category: Picture Books
ISBN: 9780624069324
Date Released: 20 March 2015
Price (incl. VAT): R 160.00
Format: Hard cover, 32pp

About this author

Marita van der Vyver , Dale Blankenaar

Marita van der Vyver  was born in Cape Town on May 6, 1958. While in matric at Nelspruit High School in 1975 (which was also the Centenary Year for the...