There aren’t nearly enough books about rhinoceroses. Clara, a pet rhino in India, went with a Dutch sea captain on his travels around the world. Captain Van der Meer thought he could make money showing off Clara all across Europe, but Clara ate so much (gaining 20 pounds a day!) even the crowds who paid to see her didn’t help the captain make enough money. Still, he considered her his friend and refused to sell her, even to the king of France.
Emily Arnold McCully‘s author’s note explains the history and the parts she fictionalized in the picture book. Clara is a fascinating look at a historical rhino, and the relationship between man and beast.