Am I a Unicorn written by Stephanie Sorkin and illustrated by Srimalie Bassani is a wonderful book written in rhyme about a unicorn that breaks her horn. At first, she tries desperately to get her horn fixed. When that doesn’t work, she feels humiliated because no one believes she is a unicorn? How will she prove that she is a unicorn without a horn? Read the book to find out!
Am I a Unicorn has many valuable lessons embedded in the story. It’s about being unique and accepting others for who they are inside versus what they appear to be on the outside. I also enjoy how Stephanie embeds language and literacy concepts such as homonyms. As you read this book with your child, take note of the consistent rhyme in the book and use different strategies such as print referencing and different prompts to elicit conversation and improve literacy skills.
Am I a Unicorn is filled with opportunities for vocabulary expansion. As you read the book, take note of specific words to focus on such as dread, miracle, courage, etc. As you read the book talk about the unicorn’s feelings and how they change throughout the book. Ask your child, “What makes them unique?” This can lead to meaningful discussions!
Classroom Discussion Questions
At the end of the book, Stephanie includes a section with 10 different classroom discussion questions that can be used both at school and in home. These questions elicit important discussions!
Interview with Stephanie Sorkin
I have interviewed Stephanie before about her many wonderful books!
To learn more about her books, click on the reviews and our podcast below.
What inspired you to write, Am I a Unicorn?
I was inspired to write “Am I a Unicorn” for many reasons. First, I have loved unicorns since I was a child! It was only natural that I’d eventually write a story about one. Second, since unicorns are known by their most designating feature, their horn, I thought that it would be a great opportunity to teach a valuable lesson by taking away that feature. Lastly, I was looking forward to highlighting that as much as we want to be accepted by others, we also need to be willing to accept ourselves!
What would you like children to learn from this book?
I love that my books can do more than just entertain children, but rather open their minds and get them to think about things that they may not have otherwise discovered. My favorite part of being an author is that words have power. Seeing something written, even in a whimsical story such as this one…can make a difference in how children see themselves and others. In “Am I a Unicorn” one child may see it in a literal way – as a story about being different (after all, the unicorn has no horn) while another child may see it as a story about realizing that how we feel inside is just as important as how we see ourselves on the outside. My goal is for readers realize that being different should be celebrated. It’s all about perspective. Why is it that when we say “he’s different” it often has a negative connotation, while saying “he’s one of a kind” can have a positive one? That’s a conversation that I hope that teachers and parents can continue with the students after they read my book.
Can you provide any tips for parents when reading this book to their child?
I love giving parents and teachers tips to follow after reading my book! I have included classroom discussion questions at the end of the book that will act as a guide to open up a discussion. Personally, I like to read a children’s book multiple times, as without fail I notice new things each time whether it was a play on words or certain details in the illustrations. For younger children, I would recommend simplifying things by asking, “do you know anyone who may feel like the unicorn?” The child may mention that they often feel different or that they know someone who has a physical or emotional difference. They may even mention a child who must bring their own cupcake to parties because of food allergies! Parents and teachers then have the opportunity to discuss the fact that we are all unique and even discuss our responsibility as friends and classmates to treat everyone with kindness and respect.