If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle, Illustrated by Cale Atkinson

If I Had a Gryphon, by Vikki VanSickle, is an imaginative ride through mythical creatures, disappointment, and discovering an appreciation for what you’ve got. Sometimes picture books written in rhyme can really miss the mark, whether it’s a clunky rhythm, or strange rhyme choices that don’t actually help the plot. But If I Had a Gryphon succeeds at using the rhyme to its advantage, and even plays with the text physically to help onomatopoeia STAND OUT (Be sure to check out the jackalope page!) The story is playful – a child thinks their pet hamster is boring – and encourages imaginative play. However, it manages to include a lesson in gratitude at the end, when the child realizes their hamster is actually a pretty fun sidekick to have. The pictures by Cale Atkinson bring a lot of humour to the story, and to be honest, the book forced me to grow my mythical creature vocabulary. Kids who seek adventure will love this book, and it will be a great library addition for those kids who sometimes struggle to think creatively. Love it and I’m excited to use it as a writing prompt with my little ones!

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