Ten Minutes to Bed Little Unicorn
Rhiannon Fielding and Chris Chatterton
Ladybird Books (Penguin Random House)
I must admit having seen it’s sparkly cover with that pink hued unicorn I didn’t want to like this book but having had children’s responses to it, and shared it one to one with several individuals, I’ve changed my mind.
Essentially it’s a tale about a spirited little unicorn named Twinkle who, like many young humans, does all she can to resist her dad’s “Ten minutes to bed!” warning.
Thus begins a countdown as the lively, far from tired unicorn, begins frisking through the forest, dancing and prancing, chasing the little creatures in the first three minutes and then she discovers a trail of footprints. Footprints that lead first to the sighting of a huge hairy troll,
then this being flashing across the sky, as well as the star.
Be honest, what would you do in that situation?
The problem is with four minutes left, Twinkle is, she realises, lost. There’s just one thing to do to get herself back in time, but will it work? Will she get home and if so, will she do so before the ten minutes expire? Remember, this is a magical story so …
With its rhyming text that reads aloud well, Rhiannon Fielding’s story works nicely as a bedtime tale, but equally as a shared read with a nursery group, or as an individual supported read for someone just gaining confidence as a reader of texts other than the boring schemes schools offer. Its predictable, patterned counting down nature and Chris Chatterton’s child-appealing, other worldly illustrations that also help when it comes to predicting the words coming next, contribute to its relative ease of reading. How magical is it for a six year old to be able to say, “I read that myself” like the little girl in the photo.
Don’t forget to explore the Land of Nod maps back and front, one is a daytime landscape,
the other shows the same panorama at night. There’s a great deal of potential in those alone for further exploration and perhaps 3D map making, especially if you happen to have a little toy unicorn.