Praise for A Family for Faru
2021 CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens Selection
2020 CBC Books “52 Canadian picture books coming out in fall 2020” selection
“Having wide appeal, this story can introduce a range of topics, from adoption to African animals to endangered species. Young listeners will enjoy the introductory trek through the savanna and cheer when Faru finds a family.”—School Library Journal
“The backmatter offers insightful details on the poaching of rhinos, their endangered status, conservation efforts to save them, and Rao-Robinson’s story of her encounter with rhinos in South Africa that inspired the book. A gentle story that helps children understand why wildlife conservation matters and why they should care.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The warm relationship between Tetenya and Faru, and the young boys’ bravery, that children will most likely remember.”—Horn Book Magazine
“An excellent feature of A Family for Faru is that it ends with age-appropriate factual information about rhinos that is worded in comprehendible, child-friendly language....Beautifully written and illustrated, A Family for Faru is a most worthwhile addition to library collections. Recommended.”—CM Magazine
“A Family for Faru is a touching picture book that combines a good story with, at the back of the book, a section pertaining to the plight of the endangered rhinoceros….Excellent illustrations complement the story.”—Postmedia
“Anitha Rao-Robinson’s story is one of friendship and compassion but also conservation as her final note about ‘Rhinos’ elucidates....Anitha Rao-Robinson’s text evokes the camaraderie of rhino and boy in their companionable activities, whether it be collecting waterberries or hiking or resting and it’s Karen Patkau’s extraordinary digitally-rendered art that takes us to the savannah.”—CanLit for LittleCanadians
“Infused in the story are the wonderful sound effects of the African savannah. This story will prompt children and elementary classes to engage in discussions of conservation, environmental awareness, and hope for change.”—Green Teacher
PreS-Gr 1—Tetenya, a young Black boy with curly dark hair who lives near a reserve in the South African savanna, has found a baby rhino, Faru. After they get their feet and hands stained pink from a lunch of water berries, Tetenya tries to find a rhinoceros family to adopt Faru. They pass many local animals: giraffes swishing through the lemongrass, vervet monkeys snacking high in the trees, and guinea fowl scrounging for seeds, but no rhinoceroses answer Faru's squeals. After another snack of berries, their nap under a jackalberry tree is disturbed by poachers. Fearing for Faru's life and inspired by their juicy lunch, Tetenya stains the baby's horn pink, destroying its value to the hunters. Faru squeals in delight to be away from the poachers, this time garnering answers in return. Patkau's bright digital illustrations show the greens, golds, and browns of the savanna and accurately portray the South African wildlife, making them easy for young readers to recognize. Rao-Robinson's plot is predictably heartwarming and the text fun to read as listeners can stomp, slurp, and crash through the savanna along with Faru. VERDICT Having wide appeal, this story can introduce a range of topics, from adoption to African animals to endangered species. Young listeners will enjoy the introductory trek through the savanna and cheer when Faru finds a family.—Kristine M. Casper, Huntington P.L., NY
Fiction and nonfiction meet as a boy seeks to save an orphaned rhino.
Tetenya, a Black boy living in sub-Saharan Africa, takes care of baby rhino Faru after Tetenya’s mother finds the animal abandoned on the savanna. At his mother’s request, Tetenya picks water berries for lunch, but when the bucket spills, Faru tromps through them, staining his feet pink and ruining the family’s lunch. Since Tetenya’s mother has been unable to find Faru a new family, Tetenya takes Faru into the savanna to search for a crash of rhinos to adopt Faru, but on their way, they encounter two hunters who kill rhinos for their valuable horns. Tetenya’s quick thinking saves Faru from the hunters, and he also helps secure Faru’s safety for the long term. This picture book offers a colorful portrayal of a gentle rhino and a boy who cares for him and helps him survive. Readers will encounter many other animals throughout the savanna in Patkau’s illustrations, including egrets, giraffes, an ostrich, guinea fowl, and vervet monkeys. Young readers will also enjoy finding small insects, reptiles, and mammals along the journey. The backmatter offers insightful details on the poaching of rhinos, their endangered status, conservation efforts to save them, and Rao-Robinson’s story of her encounter with rhinos in South Africa that inspired the book.
A gentle story that helps children understand why wildlife conservation matters and why they should care. (Picture book. 5-8)