Rhinoceros Tap: 15 Seriously Silly Songs

Last updated Thursday, March 3, 2016

Author: Sandra Boynton
Date of Publication: 2004
ISBN: 0761133232
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Mar. 2016

Synopsis: Sing a song of Boynton! Before there was the Grammy-nominated Philadelphia Chickens, the #1 New York Times children’s bestseller, there was Rhinoceros Tap, the collection of seriously silly songs. This truly delightful set¯a Recording Industry Association of America Gold album with 647,000 copies in print¯combines a big illustrated songbook and CD so children and grown-ups alike can read along, sing along, dance along, cluck along, and oink along to the fifteen original songs. There's "O, Lonely Peas," to appeal to every finicky young eater. The five-year-old's lament, "Bad Babies." A mouse's impassioned ballad to his beloved, "I Love You More Than Cheese." Plus the lead number, "Rhinoceros Tap," the ever-popular “Barnyard Dance,” and more.

Note to readers:
•  This books comes with a CD of the songs, so you can choose to bring a CD player if you have one (or you may find a CD player in your classroom to use). You can also hear the songs online via these links to Google Play or YouTube.

Hearing or playing the songs is not necessary, though, since you and/or the kids can simply read the songs as poems or make up your own tunes with the words provided in the book.
•  Not all the songs are about rhinos, so you can pick several that look the most interesting to you or have the kids pick.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What is the rhino on the cover doing?
•  Do you know how to tap dance?
•  Do you play any instruments?
•  Can you read music? Do you know anyone who can read music?
•  Do you like to sing or recite poetry?


•  abracadabra - a word said by magicians when performing a magic trick.
•  provolone, roquefort, etc - types of cheeses
•  liederkranz - wreath of songs : German singing society.
•  pirouettes - an act of spinning on one foot, typically with the raised foot touching the knee of the supporting leg.
•  lonesome, blue, sad, crabby - synonyms for sadness or unhappy mood
•  kinds of dance - ballet, "hoofing", tap

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What is your favorite type of music?
•  Did you find any new favorites in the book?
•  Have you ever written a poem or song?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a rhino or dinosaur out of a paper plate. (see example on Pinterest)
•  Draw staff (set of 5 horizontal lines & 4 spaces) & add measures (vertical lines). Paste or draw musical notes on the staff. (see front cover of the book for examples) Add drawings of different animals with costumes & instruments to your picture.
•  Check out our March craft ideas on Pinterest! https://www.pinterest.com/readingtokids/march-music-2016-crafts/

Special activities:
•  bring rattles, maracas for the kids to play
•  have the kids make music by clapping, stomping, whistling or blowing.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!