Author: Vikki VanSickle
Illustrator: Cale Atkinson
Published by: Tundra Books
Our story begins with, Sam, who has recently acquired a fairly boring pet hamster “who mostly eats and sleeps and hides and gets his shavings wet” which has left Sam longing for “a pet with strange, exotic powers”.
Sam’s hamster isn’t going to help her “while away the hours” so she settles down with a book all about mythological creatures and dreams of having one of her very own. Unicorns, Hippogriffs, Kraken, Dragons are all far more strange and exotic than your run of the mill pet hamster. However, as Sam considers their candidacy she also discovers that they too come with undesirable traits and sometimes far more serious in consequence than wet shavings.
After some deliberating over a menagerie of mythical creatures, Sam comes to sees her hamster in a whole new light. Instead of focusing on the things she doesn’t love about him she chooses to concentrate on the things she does. And sometimes that is enough.
The illustrations by Cale Atkinson are the perfect accompaniment to the text. Sam is brought to life with with adorable and animated expressions that convey her every emotion as she travels through her story. And while mythical creatures are traditionally not known for being warm and cuddly, here they have been created to be exactly that. Like seriously have you seen a cuter Manticore? No, neither have I!
The children can also take away some important messages from the book such as not falling into “the grass is always greener on the other side”mentality and to appreciate what they have.
Both Michael (4) and Elsie (2) enjoyed the book. Michael and I spent quite a bit of time googling all the mythical creatures we came across…be prepared! And Elsie gave it a glowing review after our first read “again, again!”.
Elsie’s romper from: Unicorn Safari
Elsie’s Kitty Ears from: Little Lotus Love
Elsie’s Doll from: Blooms Butterflies and Doll Studio
Elsie’s Unicorn Doll from: Sweetly Sassy Boutique
Elsie’s ‘She’s a Wildflower’ Banner from: Felt in Bloom
Michael’s Beanbag from: Baud & Co
Michael’s Zombie Plush toy:Wick and Bandit
Michael’s Rocket Ship: Little Earth Nest