“Fun, inclusive and full of joy.”
I’m a huge fan of children’s books that touch on important issues. They have a way of talking right to the heart and simplifying the complex. We’re Off To Find A Unicorn does this ever so well with a story that bubbles and fizzes in all the right places for younger readers. Here’s what we thought when we went on a #UnicornHunt this week.
As HUGE unicorn fans, you can imagine the delight when Little Button first clapped eyes on We’re Off To Find A Unicorn by Eloise White and Cory Field. The vibrant cover really POPS and I’m pretty sure that it was love at first sight… and that was before a single page had even been turned.
Galloping ahead of me, it was actually Little Button that got the first read of this book!
The story follows some little (and big!) outdoor adventures who set off, in search of a mystical magical unicorn. They explore all sorts of environments from the wild woods to snowy lands.
Along the way they discover a whole host of endangered species.
As we started to near the end of the book, it was looking like there would be no sign of the unicorn.
But then Little Button spotted that the unicorn had been with the adventurers the whole time! She was of course, thrilled. And… then went about re reading the book again, and then again, just to be sure.
The bubbly prose really does deserve to be read out loud on all occasions with this book! It’s catchy repeated verse draws you in, and before you know it, you become one of the adventures yourself. We think the short snappy sentences will especially appeal to younger listeners, as the words sort of plop off the tongue with a fizz. School age readers will love it too… and the questions will help them with their ‘expressive reading’.
It’s definitely a great picture book to add to the collection! Simple, but oh-so-catchy, and absolutely jam-packed with the most adorable illustrations, that, you just won’t be able to keep your eyes off. We would absolutely recommend We’re Off To Find A Unicorn.
Every now and again, the illustrations in a picture book will appear so seamless with the story, that it’s hard to imagine it could ever have existed on its own. From the leading characters to the tiniest detailing, it just feels like one. Cory has done this beautifully with ‘We’re Off To Find A Unicorn’.
As I look across at Little Buttons lit up face as she turns through the pages (again!), I can’t help but think that she’s got a little piece of magic in her hands.
I’m so honoured to introduce illustrator Cory Reid.
Quick-fire questions – because we’re all a bit nosey!
Tea or coffee? Coffee (I actually hate tea – don’t shoot me)
Cake or biscuits? Cake
Cats or dogs? 100% Cats 🙂
Lefty or righty? Righty
Early bird or night owl? Night Owl
Pencil or pen? Pencil
Notebook or screen? Notebook and Screen
Beach hut or lake house? Lake House minus the midges
Unicorns or mermaids? Mermaids
How did you first get into illustration?
I’ve always loved drawing ever since I was a little person and could always be found drawing characters with 10 fingers on each hand. I started to specialise in Illustration during my foundation course (a very very long time ago) after always assuming I would just ‘end up’ in graphic design.
Have you always wanted to work on children’s books?
Children’s books is ALWAYS an area I’ve wanted to work in and I still remember being blown away by so much of the work I saw from students when I first visited Universities on open days. I still get a kick out of looking at other things people have created and am constantly amazed by what people can produce.
The illustrations in We’re Off To Find A Unicorn are stunning and feel so seamless with the story. How did you go about bringing the story to life whilst staying so true to the text?
Thank you so much 🙂 The story was already written in such a fun way, it enabled me to kind do what I would normally do. I always like to add an element of fun and humour in what I do and feel the story married up to this really well. There were some key points that had to be included from the outset which also really helped with the feel and flow of the illustrations.
Unicorns are very popular with little ones! How did you go about making this unicorn stand out from the crowd?
I’d been working on Illustrations previously for some patterns I was working on and it was this that was picked up on, on my Insta account. Essentially my work, tends to consist of LOTS of bits and pieces of inspiration that I take bits from and adapt to turn into my own creations.
We noticed that diversity was cleverly injected into this story through your illustrations, was this something that you worked on with the writer?
Diversity was one of the of the points mentioned from the outset which needed to be included. Of course was something I was very excited to be able to create and hope to be a part of in the future.
And finally, what advice would you give to someone wanting to become a children’s book illustrator?
Ooh advice. Eek! I feel like I still have so much to learn, but if I did have any advice, it would be to be self critical. I say this as someone who has looked at their work in the past and what’s out there and honestly knew it just wasn’t good enough at the time. This has always helped me to push my portfolio in the direction it needs to go in. Also, just try to get your work seen by as many people as possible and keep those fingers crossed 🙂
We’re Off To Find A Unicorn is available to purchase from Owlet Press for £7.99 (we think it would make a lovely gift!). Don’t forget to follow Owlet Press on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for sneak peeks of new releases coming soon.
Looking for another picture book? How about ‘What Wesley Wore’ by Sam Langley-Swain.
Disclosure: Little Button was sent a copy of ‘We’re Off To Find A Unicorn’ to enjoy. All views are our own. #Gifted