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MARGARET’S UNICORN (Briony May Smith, 3-7yrs)

Sweet but not at all saccharine, Margaret’s Unicorn (Walker, 2021) is an enchanting tale of a family that moves to a cottage by the sea. Margaret is lonely and in need of a friend. Her whole world changes when one evening she finds the most adorable baby unicorn tangled in the weeds. Briony’s lyrical, singsong text is gentle and not forced. Her warm and outstandingly beautiful artwork will make everyone – young and old – wish for their own baby unicorn to care for. The combination of both invites the reader to follow Margaret as she slowly settles into her new home.

In spring, the unicorn finds his mother and leaves Margaret to be with his own kind, but by this time Margaret is ready to embrace her new life beside the sea. The story has a loving family with a grandmother involved, and a subtle teaching point about doing the right thing and letting go of something for the good of another. The story has a classic feel and the artwork on each and every page is magical.

THE COMET (Joe Todd-Stanton, 3-6 yrs)

When Nyla has to leave to the city so Dad can get a job, the main character first person states that the new place is definitely not home. There aren’t hardly any stars to count and there are no sounds of the sea to fall asleep to.

But one night, Nyla sees a comet. She follows it and something magical happens. A tree grows and grows, showing her that together with her dad, she can make new memories and a new home in the city.

The Comet (Flying Eye, 2022) features luminously beautiful and detailed pictures that are a delight to pore over, with lots of things for little readers to spot. The artwork has a distinctive feel, almost like a graphic novel or animation stills. The storyline features a single parent family, with a takeaway of finding light in dark times. A great story to share with any child facing a big change.

MOONCAT AND ME (Lydia Corry, 3-6yrs)

Pearl is moving house and she is not looking forward to it. Mum tells her it will feel normal soon, but she isn’t sure. On arrival, a huge fluffy cat as bright as the moon appears outside Pearl’s window! Mooncat changes everything. Now Pearl doesn’t feel quite so small. In fact, she is bigger and bolder and braver. Before long, Pearl even feels ready to give her new school a try.

What is especially nice about Mooncat and Me (Two Hoots, 2022) – aside from the gentle first person voice, the Mooncat friendship and the gorgeously soft and bright illustrations – is the empowering ending. Even when Pearl can’t see Mooncat, she learns he is with her. Even when she doesn’t feel brave, she is, meaning there is no stopping her in her new home.

This book is perfect for children moving house and/or starting a new school, but also for any child who gets the wobbles from time to time.


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