The best picture books about magical creatures other than dragons and unicorns

The Books I Picked & Why

The Mysterious Tadpole

By Steven Kellogg

The Mysterious Tadpole

Why this book?

Tadpoles aren’t known for being very exciting pets…unless they’re from Lock Ness, the most mysterious lake in Scotland! A little gift turns into a big surprise when a family discovers they may be harbouring a baby Loch Ness monster. I love how the family must come up with practical but inventive solutions to house their growing monster, which was an approach I also used with the pet care in If I Had a Gryphon.


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The Thing about Yetis

By Vin Vogel

The Thing about Yetis

Why this book?

You’ve never seen a Yeti as cute as the one in Vin Vogel’s charming The Thing About Yetis. Everyone assumes that Yetis love winter and cold weather activities, but what do they do for the rest of the year? Readers will learn all sorts of things they never knew about these mysterious creatures in this cozy read. When deciding between a Yeti, Bigfoot, or a Sasquatch in If I Had a Gryphon I went for the Canadian option (Sasquatch), but I’m so glad to see a great Yeti book!


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Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent

By Bill Peet

Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent

Why this book?

I love stories about sea monsters and this was one of my favourites as a kid. It’s hard being Cyrus. Humans are afraid of sea monsters like him, and Shark thinks he’s too cowardly to sink ships. But the kindly sea serpent resists peer pressure and saves the day when he comes to the rescue of a ship in need. A sweet and surprising story about kindness and being true to yourself from a real legend of children’s literature, Bill Peet.


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Eric

By Shaun Tan

Eric

Why this book?

This quirky, slightly surreal, and thought-provoking story is classic Sean Tan. A family takes in an unusual exchange student named Eric. He is unlike anyone or anything they have ever known. But despite his small size and unpredictable behaviour, Eric makes a lasting impact on the family. This lovely and moving story will spark lots of conversation about acceptance and perspective.


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Monsters 101

By Cale Atkinson

Monsters 101

Why this book?

I love funny books! In Monsters 101, three hilarious professors share little-known, laugh-out-loud facts about monsters of all shapes and sizes. Readers will get a kick out of the non-fiction format and bright visuals. The author-illustrator of the book is the same illustrator of my book If I Had a Gryphon, so he knows a thing or two about drawing monsters!


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