How to Grow a Unicorn

How to Grow a Unicorn
Rachel Morrisroe and Steven Lenton
Puffin Books

Unicorn mania continues to grow apace and this book is especially magical, not in the usual way though, but actually in lots of ways.

It all begins when Sarah pays a visit to Mr Pottifer’s Parlour of Plants in search of an extra special present for her gran’s 88th birthday. She surely gets the surprise of her life when she steps inside to be greeted by…

The shop is full of botanical specimens doing very unplantlike things: there were runner beans racing in a hailstorm, foxgloves boxing,

a cowslip squirting milk to name just a few. But then a packet of seeds catches Sarah’s eye and she knows this is just the thing for Gran.

Back home, she follows the planting instructions on the packet – well only some of them – for instead of planting a single seed as recommended, she uses the entire twenty-four. During the night vines start creeping and come morning Gran’s house is engulfed.

Suddenly …

Before long the creatures are causing utter chaos,(Steve clearly had huge fun creating the relevant scenes) trashing all the party paraphernalia; but is Gran upset? No she isn’t. Instead she leads a procession of gallivanting unicorns and a worried Sarah back to Mr Pottifer’s shop.

Rather than be a party pooper, I’ll leave them there with the girl explaining her plight to Mr P. But you can rest assured that the end of Rachel’s rhyming story will utterly delight not only Gran, but young audiences and adult sharers too. (I love Sarah’s letter on the inside back cover too.)

Steve Lenton’s richly patterned illustrations are both full of humour and feeling; and his rainbow hued colour palette make his scenes all the more alluring.

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