Ricky of the River Pride

Little gosling is asking for Ricky several times daily. A story about friendship, courage and selflessness, it depicts Ricky’s animal toys coming to life and drawing him into their world to save a lion cub from drowning.

I found it in my local bookshop in South Africa, where we were living at the time. I bought it for its strong local flavour. Not in the least because Ricky’s animal toy friends are from the local fauna: lion – his sleep buddy, elephant, cheetah. It has a touch of the Lion King about it, featuring a beloved ruling lion family and an orderly and protective animal kingdom. It also helps reinforce in a natural way baby’s awareness of racial diversity, which I find important.

Baby loves the suspense and emotion in the dialogue and the animal illustrations. He likes the image of Ricky jumping into the water to go after lion cub; he is presently attempting to jump with both feet off the ground and particularly fond of jumping altogether. By the time Ricky hugs the wet and shivering lion cub, he is climbing in my arms and hugging mommy tight. Impossible not to love reading the book together! 

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