Publishing Date: February 9, 2016
Publisher: Tundra Books
Pages: 32 pages
Children's Literature/Picture Book
The Premise from the Publisher: "Sam just got a hamster for a pet. But the hamster is kind of boring ... he just eats and sleeps and gets his shavings wet. Inspired by her book of mythological creatures, Sam longs for a more exciting pet. But she soon realizes that taking care of these magical beasts might not be as wonderful as she thought. Sasquatches are messy, unicorns are shy, gryphons scare the dogs at the dogpark, and having a fire extinguisher handy at all times makes dragons seem like an awful lot of work. In the end, Sam realizes that her hamster is a pretty sweet and safe pet ... or is he? If I Had a Gryphon is a raucous rhyming read-aloud about fantastical beasts in everyday situations--and the increasingly beleaguered heroine who has to deal with them" (Tundra Books).
My overall thoughts and review: When I heard that Vikki (who I've worked with in the past) was coming out with a new book, I was instantly excited! The premise sounded amazing and after seeing the cover, I knew I was in for some beautiful artwork. Atkinson did an amazing job and I want to dress up as Sam now for halloween ;) I actually got to read this much earlier thanks to NetGalley, and when the physical copy arrived recently, I was blown away. This book is STUNNING. It is a hardcover with a dust-jacket and the insides are lined with this beautiful design of all the various creatures that Sam mentions throughout the book. For the premise of the book, I really enjoyed this adorable story that Vikki put together. Sam dreams of having a more "exciting" pet than her hamster and she thinks of scenarios with creatures such as, a Unicorn (this one was particularly my favorite - I want to prance through a field of posies! ;)), a hippogriff (my potter heart was happy at this mention), a phoenix (again, my potter heart was happy) and many others. After all of these scenarios, Sam comes to the realization that her hamster isn't so bad after all. It was a lovely story that takes not only Sam into a new magical and fantastical world, but also takes the reader as well. It also allows for the reader to appreciate "everyday and safe" pets. Sometimes I wish my dogs could go leaping through the skies, but at the end of the day, I'm pretty grateful for my dogs. I will admit, after reading this, my three dogs got a massive hug from me ;). Overall, I think that this is a lovely story that readers of all ages will enjoy and I highly recommend it! :)
My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)