The Secret Unicorn Club
Emma Roberts, illustrated by Rae Ritchie & Tomislav Tomic
Do you believe in unicorns? Whether or not you do, there are countless children who are obsessed with these mythical creatures. I’m sure many of them would be interested in becoming members of the Secret Unicorn Club whose role it is to search for and look after unicorns in the wild; and this is where Emma Roberts’ book comes in. It will help readers to become experts and thus eligible for club membership; and during their learning journey they will collect ten badges.
Having followed the instruction on the very first page and thus earned the first ‘Friend’ badge, readers are introduced to a mother and baby unicorn. These two stand ready to impart some information about themselves and fellow unicorns including how their poop aroma is affected by the weather conditions at the time it’s deposited; what their tears do and why they are precious; there is also a paragraph about unicorn horns and another about tails and manes. Absorbing all that earns the reader a unicorn knowledge badge.
Subsequent double spreads are devoted to the care of unicorns – interestingly they have a penchant for the Easter Bunny’s prize carrots (cooked three ways);
and next, unicorns in the wild – the wilder the better if you want to find one. We then meet a special team with natural magic that help make the various kinds of weather, for instance a burp from one of these unicorns results in lightning.
Talking of magic, that’s the topic for the next spread; with my messy partner I could certainly do with brewing up some of the tidying up spell. Most magical of all though, is the special nature event, the ‘aurora’.
It’s great to see the next spread devoted to nature conservation for there are, we read, relatives of the unicorn that need protection today – the narwhal, and the rhinoceros.
Now here is something truly astonishing: the Montgolfier brothers had a secret passenger aboard when they took their first ever flight: apparently stowed away in the balloon’s basket was a unicorn that assisted the brothers by controlling the wind with its magical breath. Really? That’s part of the final historical spread whereon readers earn a history badge and thereby become eligible for that membership and the unlocking of a surprise hidden handbook inside the back cover, wherein there’s further precious knowledge that will appeal especially to horse lovers.
With its intricately detailed, whimsical illustrations and beautiful borders,.youngsters with a fondness for mythic fantasy will lap this up