Picture Book Picks – If I Had a Unicorn

We were lucky enough to request and receive a free copy of this from the publishers. All views and opinions are my own.

If I Had a Unicorn by Gabby Dawnay and Alex Barrow

Those of you who have been reading for a while will know how much we loved both If I Had a Dinosaur and If I Had a Sleepy Sloth from this duo (and if you don’t, you can read our thoughts here!) so I was very excited to hear there was a new one due and even more thrilled to get a copy sent to us from Thames and Hudson.

As soon as Peapod opened the post with this one in he was straight up to his bookshelf asking for the others and all three were brought in for bedtime!

Unicorn has since been read every night and usually at least once a day too – “yoo-corn!”

It’s just as much fun as the previous books, with our protagonist imagining all the fun and magic things possible with a unicorn for a pet – from granted wishes to unlimited candyfloss to cakes and cookies at every meal!

Of course as a unicorn book, there’s plenty of magic and glitter, but there’s also a visual humour which will appeal to parents just as much as children – the unicorn’s flight or – one of my favourite spreads – its effect on her sibling and their room for example!

In a similar vein, one of the initial spreads shows the littke girl’s unicorn coming out of a picture she’s looking at on a trip to a gallery. I love the magic and imagination if this, as well as the way it immediately brings galleries, art and museums into the realm of children.

The images on the gallery spread had a familiar feel and I’m wondering if they’re based on real pieces. After a little googling, I’d hazard a guess at The Unicorn Hunt tapestries but I’d be interested to find out for real!

As for Peapod, well, no-one with a small child will be surprised to learn that one of his favourite pages is the one with the rainbow poo on it! (From fine art to toilet humour in a matter of pages – there really is something for everyone!)

We love the way each of these books has a mischievous, funny or, in the case of the dinosaur, downright enormous poo or wee in them! The page in If I Had a Sleepy Sloth with the lifeguard getting his comeuppance for being a grumpy old spoil sport is still returned to, talked about (“Wee. Head. Grrrrr!”) and laughed at frequently!

He also loves the spread of the little girl’s birthday party in which everyone is eating ice creams (or as they are known in our house “Bear Snacks!”) He is ice cream mad so was delighted by this page and often now will just turn straight to this page to point out the ice creams and the astronaut who hasn’t got one yet and the little girl’s dad with his spoon and…

I think you can tell we love this just as much as its predecessors! It’s been an instant hit and will almost certainly be in the repeated reads and regular requests for some time yet!


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