Baby rhino Jubela is content in his African home, rolling in the mud while his mother watches over him. But suddenly Jubela’s world is shaken to its core when his mother is killed by poachers. Totally bewildered, the hungry and thirsty baby stays beside his dead mother in the hot sun, afraid to leave her, even for shade. It’s not until the returning scent of man alerts Jubela that he ventures out on his own and ultimately finds an adoptive mother.

Based on the real-life experience of an orphaned rhino from Swaziland, Jubela is a heartbreaking–and heartwarming–story of the plight of rhinos, 97 percent of which have been lost to poachers over the last 30 years.

Cristina Kessler makes a plea for increased awareness and dedication to protecting these ancient animals in her informative and shocking afterword.

The story itself is simple and lyrical, with JoEllen McAllister Stammen’s stunning pastel illustrations capturing the intense heat and beauty of an African savannah, as well as Jubela’s agonizing situation. Based on a true story from Swaziland, Jubela is a heartwarming story of love and a stirring wake-up call to protect our wildlife.- A Nest Literary Classic Selection. A Junior Library Guild Selection.

Late afternoon found baby rhino very hot and very hungry. He had no milk to drink and was too scared to move into the shade alone.

He lay beside mother’s silent, still body, completely confused.