If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle and art by Cale Atkinson (Tundra Books, 2016) is one of my new favorites! This book is the answer for Harry Potter loving parents to prep there petites about all the possible mythological creatures that might just make the perfect pet. The premise of this book is a little girl named Sam, she has just gotten her first pet and it’s a hamster, but it doesn’t really do anything exciting and to be honest is rather boring. After Sam reads a book about Mythological Creatures (who doesnt love a book about a petite reading a book?), she decided that there are some more exciting pets, lets talk about some of these pets! Unicorns, hippogriff, sasquatch, of course a gryphon…but then she considers some of the other magical creatures that might make a perfect pet; manticore, basilisk, kelpies, sprites, mermaids and more!
As an English teacher I love myths, they were some of my absolute favorite lessons to teach and this book enables me to teach the girls about some of these magical creatures, which I think is incredibly fun. The illustrations in this book are perfection. Sam is this amazing little girl who wears flannel, a knit cap and glasses! I am smitten with this little girl, the illustrations perfectly capture her feelings and reactions to the different creatures and the troubles that they get into, Cale Atkinson perfectly captures these amazing feelings and emotions. The conversations that we had about feelings was delightful as a bedtime read. This book is filled with opportunities for full belly laughs.
One particular page that got the petites giggling is the dragon:
If I had a dragon with a termpermental SNOUT, I’d need a fire extinguisher to put her sneezes out.
In the end Sam decides that a hamster might just be the perfect pet for her.
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