Wednesday, July 18, 2018

"I Really Want That Unicorn" by Fabi Santiago (Orchard Books)

Here's a book that rather neatly cuts through one or two 'defaults' we've come to expect in children's picture books...
In "I Really Want That Unicorn" the main character is a crocodile. But not an evilly plotting male crocodile who just thinks of his tummy, this is a rather different croc - a little girl croc who wants to win a talent contest more than anything else.

The reason?

The prize up for grabs is a spectacular golden Unicorn trophy that would look absolutely brilliant on her shelf in her room.

So Chloe the Crocodile must make the best rainbow unicorn cake, the best magic castle, the best fairy unicorn outfit AND give the perfect performance on her unicycle. Tough gig for a tiddly croc, no?

Chloe really feels like she has the contest in the bag though - until Veronica arrives. Oh dear! Will Chloe be able to maintain her confidence and win through?

We're drowning under the weight of children's picture books about friendship so once again we always look for something a little bit quirky, with a strong voice and character and perhaps more than just the standard 'friends are ace, get friends' message we've seen so many times before.

Fabi rather neatly weaves her story around Chloe's character and the about-face mid way through the story when she realises that material possessions are one thing, but having someone to share a load of fun with is far more special. The story winds up with a neat little loop-back on itself, which we always love to see too. 

Loved the art in this too, it's just too cute. 

C's best bit: She really loved Chloe's character, a croc with a big heart and a ton of determination. 

Daddy's favourite bit: A rather nice little 'spin' on the usual friendship trope in kids picture books, made all the more appealing by a central character that smashes through some of the usual picture book defaults. Gotta love it for that. 

"I Really Want that Unicorn" by Fabi Santiago is out now, published by Orchard Books (kindly supplied for review). 

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