If I Had An Octopus

The duo behind If I Had a Dinosaur, If I Had a Sleepy Sloth, and If I Had a Unicorn are back at it! Gabby Dawnay and Alex Barrow have struck gold again with the fourth installment in the “If I Had A” series, If I Had An Octopus.

In If I had an Octopus we follow our familiar narrator, a young Black girl who imagines what it would be like to have an outlandish pet. Just like the previous titles, this book is packed with imagination, as we learn all the adventures a young girl would take if she only had a pet octopus. The lyrical text makes it a perfect read-aloud sure to entertain young readers.

The illustrations by Alex Barrow are absolutely adorable and perfectly capture all the hijinks our narrator and her imaginary pet get into — from silly multitasking to eight-legged hugs.

I really appreciated that If I Had An Octopus included a few interesting facts about octopi that readers (young and old) may not know. I for one didn’t know that an octopus has three hearts until I read this book. You learn something new every day!

If I Had An Octopus is available now wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Gabby Dawnay is a best-selling author based in London. To learn more about her and her work, please visit her website at gabbydawnay.blogspot.com.

Alex Barrow is an illustrator, art director, and regular contributor to OKIDO magazine. Please visit his website alexbarrow.co.uk to learn more about him and his work.

I would like to thank Thames & Hudson for providing me with a review copy of this book. I am so pleased to see this series continue!

Have you read If I Had an Octopus, or any of the books in the series? Which is your favorite? Leave a comment below to tell me what you thought.

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If I had a Unicorn

If I Had a Unicorn by Gabby Dawnay might just be the cutest book I’ve read all year.

This book is the third installment in the “If I Had A” series by Gabby Dawnay, preceded by If I Had A Dinosaur and If I Had A Sleepy Sloth. If I Had A Unicorn follows our adorable main character, a young Black girl who dreams of having a pet unicorn. She imagines all the fun things she and the unicorn would do. The lyrical text paired with the eye catching illustrations create an entertaining story from start to finish.

I also love how some of the illustrations stand in for the words in this story. This is a great mechanism for early readers to engage in the story, even if they don’t recognize the words. Alex Barrow’s illustrations are just so fun, they draw you in immediately. I truly can’t imagine how this book could be any cuter.

Though race is never mentioned, I love that our main character and her family are black, and that her friends all have different skin tones. This is a great book to add some melanin to your library through Black joy and happiness.

I will warn you though, there is a bit of potty humor in this one; but lets be honest…you can’t have unicorns without a little unicorn poop.

You can purchase If I Had A Unicorn (and the rest of the series) anywhere books are sold, including at my Bookshop page, which supports both Mutually Inclusive and independent bookstores nationwide. (Please note: These are affiliate links, and I will receive a small commission for purchases made using these links. This commission allows me to maintain this website and continue to put out bookish content.)

I would like to thank Thames & Hudson for providing me with a review copy of this book. It was an absolute joy to read, and I will absolutely be picking up the rest of the series for my little one’s library.

Have you read If I Had a Unicorn, or any of the books in the series? Which is your favorite? Leave a comment below to tell me what you thought.

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