In our book Spiritual Literacy, we included a passage by Laurens van der Post, a philosopher and conservationist, who describes coming across a rhinoceros in the wild. He finds himself wondering "what a rhinoceros mother would find beautiful in a rhinoceros son." He admits that once he starting thinking this way, "the impression animal beauty makes on you is blinding."
In this lovely children's book for children of four through eight years of age, writer and illustrator Nancy Tillman imagines how a human mother would respond if suddenly her child took on the appearance of a rhinoceros, fox, camel, pig, owl, spotted ponies, bear, raccoon, blue-footed booby, lions, giraffe, and koala. As the mother in the story singles out a quality of her own child that she recognizes in each being — a gleam in the eye, a grin, the sound of feet, a happy dance, whiskery kisses — we sense not only a mother's love but also her deep respect for animals.