94 books like Margaret's Unicorn

By Briony May Smith,

Here are 94 books that Margaret's Unicorn fans have personally recommended if you like Margaret's Unicorn. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Bluebird

Kari Rust Author Of Tricky

From my list on animal friends and creative illustrations.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an illustrator, author, and animator. When I write and draw, I hope to vividly bring characters and settings to life in the imaginations of readers. Mischievous dogs, mysterious old houses, and brilliant mathematicians are some of the subjects I’ve had the pleasure of putting on the pages of books. I love animals and art, so artistic picture books with animals at their heart, give me a lot of joy. Because the illustrations in a picture book tell stories, I look for artwork that expresses character, mood, and movement. The best picture books leave a mark in visual memory that connects to the feeling of a story.

Kari's book list on animal friends and creative illustrations

Kari Rust Why did Kari love this book?

Bluebird is a wordless picture book with a bird as an animal friend. The story is cinematically presented with spare, selectively coloured, and exquisitely designed images. It is a touching and heartbreaking story about a bird who befriends a lonely boy and the tragic consequences brought on by carelessness and bullying. The level of care that went into every panel of every page from cover to cover is outstanding. Be swept up by this work of art!

By Bob Staake,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bluebird as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Readers will be captivated as they follow the journey of a bluebird as he develops a friendship with a young boy and ultimately risks his life to save the boy from harm. Both simple and evocative, this timeless and profound story will resonate with readers young and old.

'Deeply impressive and moving.' - Publisher's Weekly, Starred Review

'A book of true beauty.'- The New York Times


Book cover of The Ranger

Kari Rust Author Of Tricky

From my list on animal friends and creative illustrations.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an illustrator, author, and animator. When I write and draw, I hope to vividly bring characters and settings to life in the imaginations of readers. Mischievous dogs, mysterious old houses, and brilliant mathematicians are some of the subjects I’ve had the pleasure of putting on the pages of books. I love animals and art, so artistic picture books with animals at their heart, give me a lot of joy. Because the illustrations in a picture book tell stories, I look for artwork that expresses character, mood, and movement. The best picture books leave a mark in visual memory that connects to the feeling of a story.

Kari's book list on animal friends and creative illustrations

Kari Rust Why did Kari love this book?

The Ranger is the second book in the artistically rendered Crow Stories series by Nancy Vo. The animal friend in this book is a mysterious fox. When a young ranger, Annie, rescues a fox they begin an uneasy journey together. When Annie in turn needs help, she has to confront the meaning of friendship. The art in The Ranger has a look all its own incorporating watercolour and collage in a way that gives just the right mood to pair with the text. Readers will be drawn to the fox’s strong, captivating presence, and the beautiful, muted landscapes provide the perfect setting. In addition to the memorable illustrations, this book offers lots to discuss around reciprocity and friendship. There is also some mystery - is there more to the fox than meets the eye?

By Nancy Vo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ranger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this memorable and beautifully illustrated story, a ranger comes across a fox caught in a trap. The ranger frees the fox and promises only to tend to its wounds. The fox recovers and remains curiously close to the ranger, and when unexpected twists occur, the fox ends up being the helper. The ranger asks the fox, "Does this make us even?" and almost immediately feels regret - keeping score has no place in friendship. And so the two continue their journey together.

In this second book in the Crow Stories trilogy, Nancy Vo explores themes of friendship and how…


Book cover of Black Bear Red Fox (Colours in Cree)

Kari Rust Author Of Tricky

From my list on animal friends and creative illustrations.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an illustrator, author, and animator. When I write and draw, I hope to vividly bring characters and settings to life in the imaginations of readers. Mischievous dogs, mysterious old houses, and brilliant mathematicians are some of the subjects I’ve had the pleasure of putting on the pages of books. I love animals and art, so artistic picture books with animals at their heart, give me a lot of joy. Because the illustrations in a picture book tell stories, I look for artwork that expresses character, mood, and movement. The best picture books leave a mark in visual memory that connects to the feeling of a story.

Kari's book list on animal friends and creative illustrations

Kari Rust Why did Kari love this book?

Black Bear, Red Fox is a board book introducing colours in both English and Cree using animals and plants. Julie Flett’s lush, vibrant illustrations highlight the colours so vividly they seem to pop off the page. Board books are associated with very young children, however, this one can be enjoyed by anyone who is interested in learning some words in Cree while enjoying some beautiful artwork. Arden Ogg of the Cree Literacy Network provides an interesting and informative introduction about the use of colour words in the Cree language. There is also a helpful pronunciation chart. If you are looking for colour, this book delivers! Each page is a gorgeous work of art and design.

By Julie Flett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Black Bear Red Fox (Colours in Cree) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Provides the English and Cree words for colors, along with the pronunciation.


Book cover of Fred and Pete at the Beach

Kari Rust Author Of Tricky

From my list on animal friends and creative illustrations.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an illustrator, author, and animator. When I write and draw, I hope to vividly bring characters and settings to life in the imaginations of readers. Mischievous dogs, mysterious old houses, and brilliant mathematicians are some of the subjects I’ve had the pleasure of putting on the pages of books. I love animals and art, so artistic picture books with animals at their heart, give me a lot of joy. Because the illustrations in a picture book tell stories, I look for artwork that expresses character, mood, and movement. The best picture books leave a mark in visual memory that connects to the feeling of a story.

Kari's book list on animal friends and creative illustrations

Kari Rust Why did Kari love this book?

Fred and Pete are a pair of dog friends who have an adventure making their way to the beach on their own. The trip is instigated when their guardian leaves them behind as payback for a garbage incident in the kitchen. There are so many fun qualities about this book including the “odd couple” dynamic between the two canines. Cynthia Nugent uses photographs of the dogs surrounded by richly coloured, painterly backgrounds, which gives the book an irresistible, playful realism. These two little dogs have character! The relationship between the dogs, their dialogue, the bumbling adventure, and the marvellous artwork create a charming, amusing story readers will love.

By Cynthia Nugent,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fred and Pete at the Beach as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Follow Fred and Pete on an adventure where they hitch rides in anything with wheels, and optimism prevails.

Fred is a near-sighted dog who worries all the time. He worries the most about what kind of trouble Pete is going to get them into next. Unlike Fred, Pete is a happy, impulsive dog who believes something wonderful waits around every corner. Fred and Pete live with their human, Ron. When the dogs misbehave, Ron leaves them at home for the day. So the dogs decide to find their own way to the beach. Pete is sure they can get to…


Book cover of The Scarecrow

Colleen Rowan Kosinski Author Of A Home Again

From my list on picture books on diversity and feelings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a lyrical writer and have a passion for quiet, thoughtful books. I wrote A Home Again when I became an empty nester. When my husband and I were discussing downsizing our home, I was surprised by the reactions of my grown children. They absolutely did not want us to sell their family home. That led me to think about how our house would feel if we left. A new book was born. My friends, a gay couple, had just bought a new home and I thought it would be wonderful to make the second family in the story two dads. We need to show children there is a diverse array of families in the world—but what connects them all is love.

Colleen's book list on picture books on diversity and feelings

Colleen Rowan Kosinski Why did Colleen love this book?

The Scarecrow is an emotional story about the unlikely friendship between a scarecrow and a baby crow. The story explores loneliness and the value of friendship. The writing in this story is gorgeous and the illustrations are simply beautiful. This, like all of my other picks, is evergreen and a treat for children and adults alike.

By Beth Ferry, Eric Fan (illustrator), Terry Fan (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Scarecrow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A Junior Library Guild Selection | An Indie Next List Pick | An Amazon Best 3-5 Books of 2019 Selection

“An emotionally impactful exploration of love and loneliness, this is an essential addition to any picture book collection.” —School Library Journal (starred review)

Bestselling author Beth Ferry (Stick and Stone) and the widely acclaimed Fan Brothers (The Night Gardener) present a gorgeous and poignant picture book about two unexpected friends and the special connection they share.

This tender and affectionate story reminds us of the comforting power of friendship and the joy of helping others—a tale that will inspire and…


Book cover of Telling the Seasons: Stories, Celebrations and Folklore around the Year

Allison Galbraith Author Of Dancing with Trees: Eco-Tales from the British Isles

From my list on environmental storytelling for folklore freaks.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I spent summers looking for adders on the Common and winters walking through snowstorms pretending to be a Hobbit in Tolkien's Middle Earth. My travels and studies taught me the importance of respecting different cultures and our planet. Glasgow Libraries gave me my first storytelling work in 1992, and I have a Master's degree in Scottish Folklore. I live in Scotland, sharing stories through writing and storytelling. Having collected hundreds of traditional folktales about our ancestors' wisdom and folly, I co-authored my first book, Dancing With Trees, Eco-Tales from the British Isles, to reflect our need to understand nature's wisdom and help us live sustainably on Earth.

Allison's book list on environmental storytelling for folklore freaks

Allison Galbraith Why did Allison love this book?

This book is like a plump pie filled with seasonal treats, one delicious slice for every month of the year.

Rooted in Somerset, England, Maudsley skilfully presents folklore, beliefs, and happenings that pay homage to Britain and Ireland's nature, rural culture, and changing seasons. He carefully includes folk customs and stories from Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.

However, this book's natural juice and joy lie in Maudsley's knowledge of rural traditions and stories he shares in his work with Common Ground, an environmental and community organisation based in England. There are rhymes, songs, and food & drink recipes, all intricately woven into each month, season, and local harvest.

Everyone interested in living harmoniously with the natural world will enjoy this celebratory description of calendar customs and living traditions.

By Martin Maudsley, Alison Legg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Telling the Seasons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Telling the Seasons takes us on a journey through the twelve months of the year with stories, customs and celebrations. Drawing on the changing patterns of nature and the rich tapestry of folklore from the British Isles, it is a colourful guide into how and why we continue to celebrate the seasons.

Here are magical myths of the sun and moon, earthy tales of walking stones and talking trees and lively legends of the spirits of each season. Original drawings, sayings, songs, recipes and rhymes, combine into a 'spell-book' of the seasons. Martin Maudsley tells tales around the year to…


Book cover of The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages

Amy Lee Kite Author Of Goodbye, Gus

From my list on children and adults coping with the loss of a pet.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I was a young girl, I always turned to writing to work through anything that was happening in my life, ranging from the first time I experienced loss to my parents’ divorce. I have since published three children’s books on tough topics as I have aimed to provide parents, children, and teachers with tools to discuss loss and change. My most recent book, Goodbye, Gus is specifically about the loss of a pet. My dad died when I was 21, and that was the first death (other than my dogs) that I ever experienced. I was able to experience first-hand the fact that the loss of my pets helped prepare me to cope with grief, and I also learned that we can all focus on what we did have and hang on to those memories forever. 

Amy's book list on children and adults coping with the loss of a pet

Amy Lee Kite Why did Amy love this book?

I first read this book as a 21-year-old woman who had just lost her father. Other than losing pets, this was my first experience with loss. The book Freddie the Leaf seemed like a children’s book, but its themes and messages were so relatable, even though I was a senior in college. I remember the simple way that the concepts of passing seasons and life and death were portrayed in such a comforting manner, and I was so grateful that someone gifted me with this book during the most difficult time in my life. 

By Leo Buscaglia,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Fall of Freddie the Leaf as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The beloved classic from New York Times bestselling author Leo Buscaglia that has helped thousands of children and adults come to grips with life and death-a warm, wonderfully wise, and strikingly simple story about a leaf named Freddie.

Appropriate for all ages-from toddlers to adults-and featuring beautiful nature photographs throughout, this poignant, thought-provoking story follows Freddie and his companions as their leaves change with the passing seasons and the coming of winter, finally falling to the ground with winter's snow.

An inspiring allegory that illustrates the delicate balance between life and death, The Fall of Freddie the Leaf has helped…


Book cover of A First Book of Nature

Julia Rawlinson Author Of Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

From my list on nature and the seasons.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in London, close to Richmond Park, where I got to know many of the characters who have since popped up in my stories. I bird-watched, caterpillar-collected, and pond-dipped, and my bedroom had a floating population of minibeasts. My first picture book, Fred and the Little Egg, was about a bear cub trying to hatch an acorn, and my stories have continued to reflect my love of nature. My Fletcher’s Four Seasons series follows a kind-hearted fox cub as he explores his wood through the changing seasons. I hope my books will inspire children to explore and care for the natural world too.

Julia's book list on nature and the seasons

Julia Rawlinson Why did Julia love this book?

A gloriously illustrated mixture of nature facts, poetry, and things to do, this book is like my childhood squished between covers, taking in pond-dipping, caterpillar-hatching, rock-pooling, worm-watching and so much more as it guides you through the seasons. I would have loved this book as a child, and still love it now. 

By Nicola Davies, Mark Hearld (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A First Book of Nature as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An exquisite book that evokes a child's first experience of nature.

From beachcombing to stargazing, from watching squirrels, ducks and worms to making berry crumble or a winter bird feast, this is a remarkable book - part poetry, part scrapbook of recipes, facts and fragments - and a glorious reminder that the natural world is on our doorstep waiting to be discovered. Mark Hearld's pictures beautifully reproduce the colours of the seasons on woodfree paper, and Nicola Davies' lyrical words capture the simple loveliness that is everywhere, if only we can look.


Book cover of When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons

Matt Forrest Esenwine Author Of Flashlight Night

From my list on children’s poetry collections about nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since my parents gave me a copy of Dorothy Aldis’ The Secret Place and Other Poems, I have enjoyed a lifelong love of poetry. Now, as a traditionally-published children’s author, I have had numerous books and poems published over the years, including books that began as poems, like Flashlight Night (Astra Young Readers, 2017) and Once Upon Another Time (Beaming Books, 2021). My poems can be found in various anthologies including The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry (National Geographic Children's Books, 2015).

Matt's book list on children’s poetry collections about nature

Matt Forrest Esenwine Why did Matt love this book?

This is a very unique and beautiful book, all the way through. The poems are uniquely written. They present a unique perspective on their subjects. And the entire book is structured to read almost as diary entries – quite unique! Julie’s concept and execution are brilliant, with unusual wordplay and imagery (in springtime, “rushing daffodils / wished they had waited” and birds poke “a tiny hole / through the edge of winter”) and the varying tone of her poems – from joyful to contemplative to eager – keeps the collection fresh and keeps the pages turning. 

By Julie Fogliano, Julie Morstad (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked When Green Becomes Tomatoes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

december 29
and i woke to a morning
that was quiet and white
the first snow
(just like magic) came on tip toes
overnight

Flowers blooming in sheets of snow make way for happy frogs dancing in the rain. Summer swims move over for autumn sweaters until the snow comes back again. In Julie Fogliano's skilled hand and illustrated by Julie Morstad's charming pictures, the seasons come to life in this gorgeous and comprehensive book of poetry.


Book cover of Diary of a Young Naturalist

Linda Newbery Author Of This Book Is Cruelty Free: Animals and Us

From my list on animals and us.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm mainly known as an author of fiction for young readers, but animal awareness is an important part of my life and I decided to write about it.  I’ve been vegetarian for many years, and vegan for the last four: I decided long ago that no animal was going to die so that I could eat it. From early childhood, I loved animal stories, and as I grew older it baffled me that we care for our pets while thinking of other creatures as food. I spend a lot of my time campaigning for animals – for better treatment of farm animals, against bloodsports like fox-hunting and shooting, and for better awareness of the natural world and how we must look after it. 

Linda's book list on animals and us

Linda Newbery Why did Linda love this book?

Dara McAnulty is a young naturalist from Northern Ireland. He is autistic and writes about how he was badly bullied at school because of that. He has always found joy and comfort in the natural world, and this is a journal of his fifteenth year, recording outings to woodlands, coasts, and mountains. He writes so vividly, not only about the birds and other creatures he sees but also about the exhilaration of being in wild places. This was his first book, and I’m sure there will be many more from this gifted young writer.

By Dara McAnulty,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Diary of a Young Naturalist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF BOOK OF THE YEAR, NARRATIVE NON-FICTION BRITISH BOOK AWARDS 2021

Rediscover the natural world with the multi-award winning phenomenon and youngest ever major literary prize winner in UK history.

'Miraculous memoir . . . profoundly moving' Observer

'Dara is an extraordinary voice and vision: brave, poetic, ethical, lyrical' Robert Macfarlane

'It's a diary but essentially timeless . . . It's really, really special' Chris Packham

ALSO WINNER OF: THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE FOR NATURE WRITING 2020, AN POST IRISH BOOK AWARD FOR NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR 2020, BOOKS ARE MY BAG READERS AWARDS FOR NON-FICTION 2020; SHORTLISTED FOR: WATERSTONES…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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