The Rhino Song – a catchy tune for a big star of the animal kingdom

th-2The Rhino Song is a sing-along with fact-filled lyrics about the horned herbivorous mammal.

Bibliographic Info:  Derriman, Bernard (aka Squetch)  The Rhino Song, from Big Green Rabbit  PBS (2006)  Format: Children’s Music Video  Platform: YouTube, Children’s TV show, artist’s website  Channel: Squetch on YouTube, PBS TV  Interest Level: children of all ages  Genre: short format TV series  Themes:  Zoo Animals, Earth, Sing-alongs and Musical Stories, Nonfiction

StorytimeWow_FinalLogo-1The Rhino Song was given StorytimeWOW’s Marquee Seal on March 20th, 2015 and has been selected for the MusicVideoWOW collection.  Read the Storytime section below for details on why it was selected.

Summary:  Big Green Rabbit, the popular PBS children’s public television program about  the health of the planet, featured animated music videos about the animal kingdom.  Several of these videos have remained popular on YouTube and The Rhino Song is among the biggest hits.  This short animated musical lesson teaches children about Mr. Rhino, the herbivorous mammal with two big horns on the tip of his nose.

Review:  The Rhino Song has all the ingredients of a storytime sing-along winner. The song is upbeat, catchy and includes a repetitive and singable chorus.  The video’s star is a big purple beast who mugs for the camera with googly eyes and a huge grin.  Fact-based lyrics about the rhino are surprisingly informative, so children will surely learn some interesting tidbits.  Add some dramatic movement and choreography and this children’s music video is sure to become an entertaining and educational asset for your repertoire.

cover100x100Storytime:  Teach kids the lyrics to the chorus and add a movement layer to make a great story stretch.  This storytime element will work especially well for Earth Day and endangered animal awareness themes.  Before playing the video, the presenter should practice the lyrics and movements with groups.  You can find the lyrics to the chorus below.  Check back for an update featuring some fun movement suggestions!

Mr. Rhinoth-3
Everybody knows
You got one tail, four feet, twelve toes
Mr. Rhino
Look what grows
Two big horns on the tip of your nose

The Rhino Song meets the StorytimeWOW Standards for Music Videos.  This video:

  • has universal appeal (this video is loved by kids of all ages around the world)
  • has that “WOW” factor (it’s enjoyable for groups of children)
  • is well-suited for repetition (once you teach it to groups, this video may be regularly utilized as a storytime element with a brief review)
  • provides viewers with an educational takeaway (it’s full of facts about the rhinocerous)
  • is free of squirmy moments (this sing-along is highly engaging)
  • hits the storytime target audience’s interest level (young children)
  • includes participation or lends itself to group interaction (teach kids the chorus and add storytimeWOW’s suggested movement layer)

Watch-alikesThe Iguana Song by Squetch  The Toucan Song by Squetch  The Umbrella Bird Song by Squetch  The Green Anaconda Song by Squetch

Links:  Official Website of Squetch (Bernard Derriman)   YouTube   Big Green Rabbit website

Early Childhood Education and Development:  The following lists the stand-out benefits of The Rhino Song across various early childhood education (ECE) and child development checklists.

1.  This video provides young children with the opportunity to practice the following Pre-Reading Skills (see full list of pre-reading skills here):

  • Knowing the names of things (vocabulary)
  • Being able to hear and play with smaller sounds in words (phonological awareness)

2.  This video provides opportunities for caregivers to utilize the early literacy-building Parent Practices (see full list of parent practices here):

  • Singing helps children learn new words and vocalize.

3.  This video follows Common Core Guidelines (see full list here):

  • Maintain a 50/50 balance between fiction and non-fiction (information-focused) content. For information-focused content, add materials with themes that broaden knowledge of the world. Encourage consumption of nonfiction at home.
  • Integrate more new media materials and technology.  Cultivate media literacy by modeling media literacy behaviors.
  • Create a more participatory culture in group programs and classroom settings.  Use materials that invite participation and keep learners engaged.

Why I Chose to Review this Video:  The Rhino Song video is crowd-pleaser that works well in a group storytime context.  By teaching the lyrics and adding some movements, the piece makes a great brain break and story stretch (plus, it teaches kids about rhinos).

3Make Reading More Fun

Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!