Unicorns & Other Mythical Creatures


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Unicorns, dragons, and other mythical beasts have been the center of attention for many people. I know most girls go through some unicorn phase and some never grow out of it. Today I am going to share with you a picture book based on the unicorn tapestries and a fun fact book about mythical beasts. I am also sharing a unicorn craft round-up to go with these fun books! We will start with The Lady and the Unicorn by Béatrice Fontanel and Vanessa Hié. It is recommended for ages 8 to 12.

From the Publisher: 

Gallop into the mythical world of this beautifully illustrated and educational picture book adventure about love, magic, and art history, inspired by the Unicorn Tapestries held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Cluny Museum in Paris.

The Lady and the Unicorn invites young readers into an enchanting tale of a unicorn who must outsmart a lord and his huntsmen. When the unicorn finds his way into a secret garden in the forest, he discovers a young lady who just may have powers more magical than his own.

Children will be drawn in by the vibrant illustrations and captivated by the detailed scenes of the unicorn and his forest friends and foes. Parents will love how the book connects the illustrations to the symbols and meanings of the original Unicorn Tapestries, which were created in the Middle Ages. Kids and adults alike are sure to return to this beautifully illustrated and engaging story again and again.

From Me:

I love that this story is inspired by the unicorn tapestries. It is a wonderful story to introduce the tapestries, the Middle Ages and so much more. At the end of the book there are some pictures and information about the unicorn tapestries as well.

The story is sweet and magical. It begins with the forest fairies having a meeting about the loud hunting parties. The animals join in. This is where we first meet the unicorn. The hunters are after the unicorn for its horn. Looking at the unicorn tapestries you can see the inspiration for the story. 

The tale itself is fun. It is a bit like many legends and stories of the unicorn. It does share some of the beliefs about unicorns like their magical horns. I think it would be great on its own but also amazing to add to a unit on the unicorn tapestries and/or Middle Ages.

Our second book is form National Geographic Kids. It is another one of the Level 3 Fact Reader Series. It is Mythical Beasts: 100 Fun Facts About Real Animals and the Myths They Inspire by Stephanie Warren Drimmer. It is recommended for ages 7 to 9.

From the Publisher:

Calling all fans of unicorns, dragons, sea monsters, and other mythical creatures! Discover 100 marvelous facts that add to the magic in this new reader for fluent readers.

Key features include:
  • Expert-vetted text appropriate for ages 7 to 9
  • Brilliant and eye-catching National Geographic images
  • 100 fun facts spread throughout the book
  • A fact roundup at the end of each book for kids to review what they’ve learned

Packed with weird-but-true facts and tons of info, this Level 3 reader explores animals that are mistaken for mythical creatures, critters that are almost too weird for reality, and other creatures with incredible abilities. Learn all about these amazing, unbelievable, and downright fantastical beasts!

About the series: This high-interest, educationally-vetted readers series features magnificent National Geographic images accompanied by text written by experienced, skilled children’s book authors. Each reader includes a glossary and interactive features in which kids get to use what they’ve learned in the book. Level 1 readers reinforce the content of the book with a kinesthetic learning activity. Level 2 readers feature slightly higher-level text and additional vocabulary words. Level 3 readers have more layers of information to challenge more proficient readers. For emerging readers, the Pre-reader level introduces vocabulary and concepts, and the Co-reader level provides a collaborative reading experience.

From Me:

This book combines science, history as well as mythology from around the world. It contains fun facts about real animals as well as about legends. It also shares animals that may have been mistaken for the mythical ones. Or it takes a mythical animal and shares a real animal that has a similar trait. For example, it shares about the Greek mythical multi-headed monster the Hydra and how if one head was cut off two would grow back. Then it shares about the axolotl which is a type of salamander that can regrow its missing tail, organs, and even part of its brain! There are photographs of a real axolotl, an Aztec sculpture of the Aztec god Xolotl and an illustration of Hydra. As with the other books in this series there are colorful shapes with more interesting facts like "Ancient Aztec legends described the axolotl as a god in disguise." This is a fun book that I know kids will love. 

For the Harry Potter fans, there are fun facts about the basilisk, boggart, a three-dog headed monster, phoenix, centaur, and dragons. Personally I love how it shares legends from around the world and often relates them to real life animals (although some are extinct).

Since we are focusing this post on unicorns because of the first book let me share a couple of the unicorn fun facts in this book. 

  • Queen Elizabeth I once paid the cost of an entire castle for what was thought to be a unicorn's horn covered with jewels.
  • Vikings would collect narwhal horns, which can be up to 9 feet in length, that washed up on the beaches and sell them to people as unicorn horns.  
  • Okapis were once thought to be unicorns because they were so hard to find.
  • Ancient Greeks believed unicorns came in different colors.
As you can see there are some fun facts and kids will enjoy learning about the cultures, myths, and animals. 

Unicorn Craft Round-Up

To go with these books, I decided to focus just on unicorns and am sharing unicorn crafts, unicorn party crafts, and some other unicorn books that we have shared previously. 

1) Handprint Unicorn Craft from Simple Everyday Mom

2) Unicorn Coloring Bookmarks from Artsy Fartsy Mama

3) Unicorn Slime from 24 Hour Family

4) Flying Unicorn Craft from Homeschool Preschool

5) Unicorn Bookmark Paper Craft from Fun Money Mom

6) Unicorn Joke Puzzle from Growing Play

7) Unicorn Fine Motor Activity from Your Therapy Source

8) Unicorn TP Roll Craft from Fun Money Mom

9) Unicorn Sign Gift

10) Unicorn Pillow

11) Unicorn Needle Felting

12) DIY Unicorn Shirt from Artsy Fartsy Mama

1) Unicorn Party Hats from Jinxy Kids

2) Unicorn Headbands from Simple Everyday Mom

3) Unicorn Pumpkin from Suburban Simplicity

4) Unicorn Hot Cocoa Bombs from Dollar Crafter

5) Unicorn Party Favors from Frugal Coupon Living

6) Unicorn Horn Bath Bombs from Dollar Crafter

1) My Magical Unicorn Push Pull Slide Board Book

2) It's Okay to be a Unicorn picture book about being true to oneself and sharing whole self

3) The Black Unicorn picture book about accepting one's differences

4) The Legend of the First Unicorn picture book based on Scottish folktale

5) Fairy Unicorn Wishes chapter book for new readers (3rd book in series)

6) Unicorn Tales: A Guided Journal for a Magical Life to help grow confidence and self esteem