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If I Had a Gryphon
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If I Had a Gryphon

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  763 Ratings  ·  210 Reviews
Sam just got a hamster for a pet. She's not really impressed. The hamster isn't very exciting--he mostly eats and sleeps and gets his shavings wet. BORING!

After reading a book about mythological creatures, Sam gets some ideas for more exciting pets. But she soon realizes that taking care of these magical beasts might not be as wonderful as she though. Unicorns are shy, gry
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 9th 2016 by Tundra Books
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Rating details
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Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Sam receives a hamster for a pet, yet she finds the hamster to be quite boring. She dreams of having mythological creatures as a pet instead but soon comes to realize the challenges and reality of having mythological creatures as pets. I absolutely loved this book! With engaging rhymes and stunning illustrations, If I Had a Gryphon was incredibly fun and cute to read
Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
Adorable. Sam is the new owner of a hamster, but finds that it's not quite as dazzling as the creatures in the mythological book she's reading. She imagines herself owning everything from a unicorn to a chimera, and in the process, realizes that taking care of those animals might be pretty difficult, too.

Full of charming and delicate verse, fantastical creatures (the phoenix is my favorite), and colourful illustrations that will appeal to both kids and parents. This book is perfect for your fou
Jamie (Books and Ladders)
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

THIS WAS SO ADORABLE!!!! I loved the images and the story. I liked that this was about mythological creatures but also about the very real pets we get as well. I will have a full review plus an interview with Vikki VanSickle on Books Are My Fandom on October 24th!
Wayne McCoy
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
'If I Had a Gryphon' by Vikki VanSickle with illustrations by Cale Atkinson is a laugh out loud book of "what if" choices for pet owners.

When Sam gets a hamster for a pet, she is a bit underwhelmed. She imagines what owning grander (and imaginary) pets might look like and discovers that they would hold their own excitement. Perhaps a bit too much. She thinks about owning a dragon, a gryphon, a hippogriff, a kraken and many others. They all pose their own problems. Imagine what happens when a dra
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
So cute, loved the illustrations!
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it
If I Had a Gryphon is a fun little picture book about a girl who, at first, is uncharmed by her ordinary hamster and imagines how great it would be to have a mythic creature as a pet. While she goes through a wide assortment of cool beasts, she comes to a conclusion that may surprise you. It has some neat illustrations by Cale Atkinson, too.

I don't normally go around reading picture books--that's not really my style--but I work at a book store and, as I set this book up for a new promotion today
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was incredible fun and super sweet. I love children's books that rhyme and its always a plus in my book if they have something to do with mythical creatures. Each page was filled with vivid color and amazing art, the way Vikki VanSickle mimicked actual brushstrokes in her artwork was just wonderful. With a little one's birthday coming up for good friend of mine I'll be sure to pick up a copy of this to add to their chills library.
This is a cute rhyming book featuring beautiful full-page illustrations and a diverse main character. It is guaranteed to keep kids engaged and even has a bonus of teaching them about mythological animals! There is quite a bit of imagination contained between the covers.

This unbiased review is based upon a copy won through the Goodreads First Reads program.
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Really enjoyed this one.

It introduces mythological creatures while using lively rhyming text, like this bit about a unicorn: "We'd prance through fields of posies and nibble nectarines/I'd shine her horn with candy corn to get a starry sheen."

I mean, great stuff. Shout out to terrific illustrations too.
This might be my new favourite Vikki VanSickle book yet. I cried! I laughed! And it has a girl named Sam. :)
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Love the illustrations and the story was really cute.
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
2nd and 3rd year lower elementary students thought this was a great read. They loved learning about all the different creatures and we were able to then look at other books on some of those creatures. I would read this again with another group.
Feb 26, 2017 marked it as picture-books
ADORABLE. I loved the illustrations.
Stephanie Tiner
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A hamster is a great pet for younger children just learning to care for their pets, but some might find them a little boring. But what kind of magical creature would be the best replacement?
My daughter and step daughter enjoyed this book. My step daughter is an older child who is currently reading chapter books and my daughter is three. My step daughter enjoyed it but it is below her reading level and my daughter likes it because it rhymes and has pretty pictures. But she was too young to recogn
Polenth Blake
When a girl gets a new pet hamster, she finds him boring. Instead, she wishes for various mythical creatures as pets... but all pets come with downsides.

This is a cute story told in rhymes. The pets considered include a dragon, gryphon, kirin and kraken. Their downsides are shown in a real world context, like the hippogriff scaring everyone at the dog park, and the unicorn hiding under the bed. The artwork is colourful and funny, helping to bring to life the problems with each pet. The story is
Sam is a girl after my own heart.

And I would have loved this book when I was her age.

Even dinosaurs weren’t exotic enough for me when I was young; just as her hamster seems a bit boring to Sam.

We love monsters. Fascinated by the gryphon, manticore, and chimera, to imagine these sorts of creatures is much more interesting than real animals (whether a pet or extinct). And the diversity of mythological creatures is amazing - especially for a children’s book.

And the rhymes and pictures (along wi
Jezire C Akin
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing

If the cover of this upcoming children's book isn't enough to draw you in then definitely take my suggestion and pick this up.

It is so fantastical. A young girl gets a hamster and thinks she might want something a little more exciting. As she imagines have a gryphon, a kraken, a Sasquatch and many other exotic pants from the fantasy books she reads she starts to realize that the hamster is actually the perfect pet for her.

The art style is amazing and it ha
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Kiddo wants this on repeat and loves the fantastical creatures. I, however, wanted more...more about the creatures and how they would be as pets. I really wanted to go further down that road -- at least about having a gryphon! -- but I'm sure the rhyming was quite the limitation on this. The illustrations are fun-lovely.

Kiddo: 4.5
Mama: 3.5
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sam has an ordinary pet hamster and from her books learns about the multitude of extraordinary creatures that she could keep as pets. I love the colourful illustrations of beasts from kelpies to manticores through to jackalopes. Entirely told in verse with the heartwarming ending for any petlover.
T. Kent
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read an ARC copy of this book and it was delightful. I love rhyming children's books, and the rhyming was perfect. A very imaginative way to state a simple theme of being happy with what we have :) The illustrations were lovely, and jumped off the page.
Anna (lion_reads)
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An adorable new book, gorgeously illustrated. A must-read for munchkins.
Ciara (Lost at Midnight)
This book was just so dang cute. The illustrations were just BEAUTIFUL and all the different creatures were so much fun. Definitely a must buy!
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
It is a little too much like "The Adventures of Beekle," except the imaginary creatures were mythological ones. Charming, though.
Jun 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
My kinda picture book. A little girl just brought home her first pet: a hamster. She can't help wondering, though, what her life would be like if she had a more magical pet.
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This children's illustrated book was the cutest thing ever!! I read it with my younger cousin and she loved it <3
I recommend it to all ages!
Stefanie Kellum
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Adorable. I will be giving this to library kids who aren't quite ready for Harry Potter. *I read a digital ARC of this title from the publisher via NetGalley.
Becky B
Dissatisfied with her new pet hamster, a little girl dreams of all the mythological beasts she'd rather have as a pet but soon realizes there are some serious drawbacks to having animals like gryphons or dragons or kirins as pets, and perhaps a tiny hamster isn't so bad.

I wish I could give this book 6 stars. I loved it that much. It's just such a great mix. Not only is it chock full of all the fantastical creatures you can think of (seriously, it even has kirins and jackalopes and chupacabras al
If I had a Gryphon has enjoyable illustrations and simple rhyming text. It is a solid addition to texts based on the list format. It would make a good companion for If you happen to have a dinosaur and If kids ruled the world - both by Linda Bailey. The book would lend itself well to writing instruction as a list format mentor text and as examples of rhyming couplets. It is promising as a read aloud text and would be good for call and response or reader's theatre reading activities. I can see us ...more
A little girl despairs over her boring pet hamster. If only she had one of the mythological creatures from her storybooks instead! But as she thinks about each creature one by one, she realizes that while they would make cool pets, they each have their downsides as well.
I liked this one! It would be great for a pet themed storytime with a mythological twist, I think. The rhyming was great - no breaks in the rhythm, no lines seemed forced. And I can imagine the kids laughing at some of the downsi
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you had your choice of cryptids for a pet, which one would you pick? Sam got a boring hamster, and begins imagining how wonderful it would be to have a unicorn, or a gryphon, or a hippogriff, a dragon, get the picture. Sam pretty quickly realizes that there may be downsides to living with all these fantastical creatures.
The illustrations are beautiful and dynamic, with lots of humour. (Even after Sam's analyses, I still wanted a gryphon and a hippogriff.)
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Everything I need to know in life I learned from children's literature. Growing up in Woodstock, Ontario I was a big library kid, burning through the spinner racks and entering every writing contest I was eligible for. My work ranges from contemporary middle grade fiction to magical, storytime-ready picture books.

I am currently living in Toronto where I work in children's publishing in addition t
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