Unicorn Training

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

What My Child Thought:
She loved this book from start to finish and wants a unicorn now.  The illustrations had her completely engaged and they supported the story, helping her to understand the words.  She felt frustrated for Tilly, the young girl in the story when she was frustrated at training the unicorn.  It was nice to see the book gain her empathy for the character.   The unicorn made her laugh with all its silly actions as well, bringing a well-rounded group of emotions through the book.

What I Thought:
I thought the illustrations were perfect for this book.  I liked that the story featured a unicorn, because that's really popular right now, and really who doesn't love a unicorn.  The main point of the story, though, is about working hard and learning how to train a pet.  It would be a great book for any child getting their own pet soon.  It helps them understand that it will be frustrating and it won't happen all at once.  It will take time and adjustments for everyone to feel "fizzy and fuzzy inside".

To Read or Not To Read:
This is a perfect book for anyone.  The unicorn is a boy and the main character is a girl, giving a nice gender balance.  The main message is a great one and the book even has a nice guide at the end to spark conversation afterward.  

Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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An adorable picture book perfect for storytime. The drawings were lovely and I particularly loved the discussion points at the end of the book. An excellent choice for families adopting pets too.
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Unicorn Training is about the responsibility of pet ownership. Really, the animal could be everything (in fact, if you switch the unicorn out for a dog, the story still works). Tilly does everything she can to try to turn Splodge into the perfect pet. But it takes perseverance and patience (and a lot of treats) to make this happen.

My complaints about this book are mostly of the technical variety. For some reason, a new trend in picture books seems to be italicizing people's speech. I don't understand the purpose of this, and it could potentially confuse kids who are just learning what italics are actually used for. I'm also not completely impressed with the grammar; it's a bit shaky in places. And, finally, I really don't see the purpose of the last page with tips for parents. The "projects" for kids are kind of boring, and I don't see many parents actually sitting down with their children to do them. (That part of the book might be better for teachers, but again, the "projects" aren't very interesting.)

I can see this being a good book for kids whose parents are looking into getting a pet. It shows the importance of taking responsibility for the critter under your care. The illustrations are cute, too, and there are just enough poop and fart jokes to amuse kids. Because of the technical issues with the writing, I think this might work best as a read-aloud book (so that nobody gets confused by sentence fragments or the weird use of italics).
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Unicorns are big this year, maybe they're big every year and it's just that this year I have a horse-mad-turned-unicorn-and-pegasus-mad daughter. Whatever the reason for the fascination with unicorns my daughter thought this book was the "Best story ever!" - so if you have a unicorn-obsessed child aged five then you should pop this book on your Christmas shopping list now!

This story is really about the ups and downs of owning a pet, especially when it first arrives. Having recently adopted two kittens into our horse I could actually relate to a lot of this despite having owned animals before! 

While the book is light-hearted it really is a great book to look at perseverance. Sometimes you need to practice something over and over again in order to get it right. This is such an important lesson that children need to learn and I think makes this an ideal choice of book for the start of the year classroom activities. This is reinforced by Tilly who is about to give up, trying something new and finding it got her closer to her goal - essential problem-solving skills.

Another big plus about this book is the activity page at the back of the book! While my daughter easily answered that one this book is inspiring her to write a new unicorn story (I think this is her third recently!) about herself and a new unicorn. This is what makes the book for me worth the investment. This activity could be replicated in the classroom with students writing their own book about a new pet of their choice which I guess would include a fair share of sharks, dinosaurs, and dragons. 

A wonderful book for home or the classroom.
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A cute colorful children's book that discusses responsibility and hard work while never giving up. A simple lesson on perseverance in childlike terms. Colorful pages with animated illustrations. A great message for kids.
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Unicorn Training is about a girl named Tilly that volunteers at the Unicorn Rescue Sanctuary. She really enjoys helping out, but Tilly really wants a unicorn of her own. One day, a scruffy little unicorn name Splodge arrives at the sanctuary. Despite his appearance and rough nature, Tilly feels that Splodge is the right unicorn for her and she convinces her father to take Splodge home. At home, Tilly is convinced that she can train Splodge to be the best unicorn ever, but she quickly realizes that training a unicorn is harder than she expected. Tilly decides to teach Splodge just one thing...his name. He begins catching on and soon Tilly's parents are teaching Splodge new things too. Tilly, her parents, and Splodge all eventually have that "fizzy fuzzy" feeling that comes with being loved.

I have a major unicorn lover in my house, so I was very excited to review this book. I love the idea of Tilly trying to train the unicorn in the same way that we've been working on training our puppy. I know my daughter, and many other unicorn lovers, will adore this book with the cute illustrations and concept of a unicorn as a pet. I appreciate the idea that Tilly chose a unicorn that wasn't "perfect" and loved him anyway. I also enjoyed that Splodge improved his behavior and became a better pupil as he got more used to the family. Training a pet definitely is not easy, it takes time and dedication and this way effectively communicated in this book.

I received a free copy of this title from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

#UnicornTraining #NetGalley
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