Son of Sumatran rhino born at the Cincinnati Zoo is the subject of 5th-grade students’ book.
As many elementary-school children prepare to graduate this summer, the fifth graders of PS 107 John W. Kimball Learning Center in Park Slope, Brooklyn, are working on an even bigger challenge. They have just become published authors as a way to help save endangered rhinos.
Their book, One Special Rhino: the Story of Andatu, a yearlong project which they wrote and illustrated, is now available on Amazon.com. In the book, Andatu, the only Sumatran rhino ever to be born in human care in Indonesia, tells the story of his life, describes the plight of being critically endangered and calls on young readers to help rhinos. There are only 100 Sumatran rhinos remaining in the wild.
To create the book, the 5th graders met in workshops throughout the school year. They read research materials about Sumatran rhinos. By Skype, they interviewed the program director of the International Rhino Foundation, which is dedicated to the survival of the world’s rhino species through conservation and research. Then they wrote the book as a series of first-person accounts which were re-assembled into a narrative. In separate workshops, the children illustrated sections of the book. The project involved all 84 fifth graders.
The book was a unique collaboration between the school’s PTA Beast Relief committee, which is dedicated to teaching students about the need for wildlife conservation, and the International Rhino Foundation. All proceeds from the book will go to the International Rhino Foundation.