Clara

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Clara-the (mostly) true Story of the Rhinoceros Who Dazzled Kings, Inspired Artists, and Won the Hearts of Everyone. . .While She Ate Her Way Up and Down a Continent! By Emily Arnold McCully: Children and adults will love this story of a revolutionary war era Dutchman who can’t resist the charms of a baby rhino he meets on a voyage to India.  He spends the next two decades of his life touring Europe and exhibiting Clara for money so that he can afford to feed her-and he barely breaks even, sometimes even going without his own dinner. McCully’s charming illustrations and humorous retelling will captivate young ones, while older children will enjoy the adventurous journeys, the logistical problems of moving and feeding what to Europeans of the time was a magical beast, and adults should read the informative Author’s Note at the end to marvel at stuff we were never told about in history classes.  I include the last paragraph of her note: “Three hundred years ago Clara was an astonishing curiosity.  Seen in the flesh, this sublime creature inspired awe. By so patiently and agreeably posing for the public, year after year, Clara seemed to ask that humans strive to understand the creatures who share our world.  Today, we know we must also cherish and protect them. -Yvonne Harrell, Circulation

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