Thelma the Unicorn by Aaron Blabey, hardback picture book, published by Scholastic Australia in 2015.
Thelma is a small pony with big dreams. She dreams of being a unicorn, and when the opportunity for change presents itself, she takes advantage of it. She becomes Thelma the Unicorn, living an exciting and adoring fan-filled life, but something is missing.
A beautiful picture book suitable for preschool and lower primary school children, Thelma the Unicorn is about just being yourself because that’s the best thing you can be. Your real friends will accept you just as you are, imperfections and all. It takes Thelma a little while to discover this, as she finds that pretending to be something that she is not isn’t easy, and it isn’t necessarily fulfilling either.
My kindergartner daughter initially picked this book out because it has a pink unicorn on the front with sparkly glitter! Now she wants to read it because she likes the story, and she likes Thelma. It rhymes too, which is great for reading aloud and sharing, and the illustrations are lovely. I particularly like the truck driver of the truck carrying the pink paint and glitter, and my daughter likes Thelma on the red carpet. An amusing read and re-read!
Lulu Bell and the Birthday Unicorn by Belinda Murrell and illustrated by Serena Geddes, paperback chapter book, 86 pages, published by Random House Australia in 2013.
Meet Lulu Bell, a great big sister to Rosie and Gus, best friend to Molly and daughter of the local vet. During the preparations for Rosie’s mermaid themed birthday party, their Dad is called out to capture an escaped pony before it can get hurt. Until its owners can be found, the pony is placed in Lulu’s backyard, where the party is soon to be held. Unfortunately the pony gets up to some mischief, upsetting Rosie. Luckily Lulu has an idea that will help to make Rosie’s party the best ever.
A simple story of family, friends and fun, this chapter book captivated my kindergartner. She enjoyed the storyline, and identified with the family, which were very realistic. She liked the way Gus spoke, and called himself “Bug Boy” and the way that Rosie and Lulu interacted as sisters. The idea of a mermaid party was quite appealing to her also!
For self reading, Lulu Bell and the Birthday Unicorn, would suit a slightly more confident reader than one just starting chapter books. While the chapters were reasonably short, and the black and white illustrations frequent, there is more depth to this story than is usually seen in a first chapter book. The language was very suitable for lower primary school children, and the story easy enough to follow. I read this one to my kindergartner as she’s not yet onto chapter books, and she has already asked for more Lulu Bell!
Little Lost Unicorn by Lorna Hussey, hardback picture book, published by Hinkler Books in 2009.
Little Unicorn goes exploring in the forest and gets lost. Some little forest animals befriend him and they have a lovely time playing together until baby rabbit falls into the stream. Little Unicorn must be brave to help baby rabbit.
This is a magical story of friendship and courage with beautiful illustrations on embossed pages. There are unicorns hiding on every page, which my preschooler loved! She spent a lot of time poring over the pages looking for them, and running her hands over the embossing. She is a big fan of unicorns and this is the best unicorn story book we have read so far. It was very engaging for my preschooler, and I enjoyed her enthusiasm for the book. Perfect for every little unicorn lover, this is a great book for sharing with your preschooler, or for lower primary school students. Personally, I liked this story, and I was very impressed with the lovely illustrations, and ingenuity of the hidden unicorns.
L’s beach scene singlet.
A’s colourful singlet.
The kids love to draw, so using fabric markers gave them the opportunity to create an artwork on a piece of clothing and wear it. Before they started, I placed a thick piece of cardboard inside the shirt to prevent the colour from going through to the other side of the shirt. Then I pegged the shirts to the cardboard to keep them still, making it easier to draw on.
Singlets stretched out on cardboard ready for drawing on.
A drawing on her singlet.
L drawing on her singlet.
Each of the kids had a singlet to draw on, and I told them to draw anything they would like. L drew a lovely picture of the beach, with people swimming, and some boats. There were also lots of seagulls, and people playing on the beach. A chose not to draw a picture, but rather used all the colours to make lines and squiggles all over her singlet. Both of the kids enjoyed making a drawing to wear.
The colouring page under the shirt.
After completing their own freestyle drawings, we tried another type of drawing. This time I printed off some colouring sheets from the Crayola site, as suggested on the back of the markers pack. L chose a picture of a dinosaur, and A chose a picture of a unicorn. I placed the colouring sheet under the shirt and traced the outline of the picture, and then let the kids colour them in. L did a very nice job colouring in her dinosaur, even adding some red blood to its teeth.
The traced dinosaur.
L colouring her dinosaur.
The outline of A’s unicorn.
Once the drawings were complete, we left them to dry thoroughly before heat setting them with the iron. This involved running the hot iron over the design from the opposite side for a few minutes. After which I washed and dried the shirts and singlets, and the kids could then wear their creations.
L wearing her dino shirt.