I’m Basically A Unicorn: A Childrens Book About Being Unique
I'm Basically a Unicorn: A Childrens Book About Being Unique
A celebration of what makes us all unique and special.
From unique traits that make us look or feel a bit different, to different abilities, this book is for everyone! It can help us realize that no matter our abilities, strengths or weaknesses, each of us is precious, rare, and beautiful!
This wonderful book can open dialogue about uniqueness, inclusion, and the hard things that many children are dealing with. It can also help us all learn to be accepting of others who are a bit different and realize just how similar we really are.
I don’t think there ever was a time when one of my kids didn’t come to me and ask me why they were different from their friends. I mean, what kid doesn’t go through a time when they feel different? My daughter has come to me, asking why she was teased for being taller and heavier than the girls her age. Or why she was teased for not having name brand supplies or clothes. Or why she was teased for having glasses.
Unfortunately, the message children are hearing is that they shouldn’t stand out from the crowd; they should do what’s “acceptable” and should try to fit in. But in reality, the message our children should be learning is to be unique and celebrate what makes us different. Everyone is unique- in many different ways, with our skills, interests, personalities, and physical appearances, and we need to teach our children to embrace that.
Teaching our kids to know that their differences are what makes them special can be a challenging message to get through when the world, especially friends, tell them otherwise. One way to teach our children the challenging message of embracing their uniqueness is by reading childrens books about being unique.
Reading stories with our children about how characters embrace their uniqueness and find happiness despite the stress to conform to what society considers “normal” is a great way to help show your kids why it’s okay to be different and let their uniqueness shine.
A great book to read to your children is I’m Basically a Unicorn written and illustrated by children’s author, Melanie Hawkins. “I’m Basically a Unicorn is a childrens book about being unique. This book helps children understand that although we may look different or be different in many ways, those traits, interests, personalities, and appearances make us unique and special.
This book touches on traits a child may have that make them different, such as having different hair and eye color, using a wheelchair, having an extra chromosome, or having a disease like cancer or a condition such as Vitiligo. The author uses this opportunity to teach children about that difference and how that makes them unique and special.
I’m Basically A Unicorn by Melanie Hawkins will teach your children how to understand and embrace the qualities that make them special and also promote confidence in them. This book will also teach children to accept and value the differences they see in others.
Melanie did a beautiful job illustrating the book as well. I’m Basically A Unicorn pops with color, and the pictures coupled with the rhyming text will keep your kids engaged and wanting to read more. I must say that we have completely fallen in love with this book by Melanie Hawkins, and it has made its way to the section of our favorites on the bookshelf.
There is a quote by Alvin Price that I remind myself of regularly: “Parents need to fill a child’s bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can’t poke enough holes to drain it dry.”
If you are looking for a book that will help you boost your children’s self-esteem and teach them to embrace and accept theirs and others’ differences, this is the book for you!
Where Can I Find " I'm Basically A Unicorn?"
Other Books by Melanie Hawkins
About the Author, Melanie Hawkins
“I have been married to my sweetheart for over 25 years. I am a mother of seven incredible children, and in July will be a grandmother of two. I’ve taught elementary art for two years now, and I am an author and illustrator of four delightfully sweet children’s books with many more to come!
I’ve always loved art, and I’ve always loved writing and making up stories. I am from a small farming town in Idaho and now live in a beautiful little city in Utah with my family with a gorgeous view of the Wasatch Mountains. We love camping, kayaking, swimming, staying up way too late watching movies, and eating popcorn.”
Rapid Fire with Melanie Hawkins
Q. What was the most surprising thing you learned about creating books?
Melanie: Becoming a self-published author, there was so much to learn. Between starting my own publishing company, learning what an ISBN and LCCN were, purchasing barcodes, and getting my books formatted when I first started, there was so much that I didn’t know I needed to know. The most surprising thing to me was that I could do it! It is NOT an easy process, and there are going to be lots of doubters and people that don’t think you can, or should, but to create something yourself is such a rewarding thing!
It is an innate quality in us to want to create; whether it’s building something, beautifying our homes or yards, restoring an old car, etc., I believe that it is instinctive for us to have that desire to leave our mark on the world, and leave it a better place.
Q. What do you think makes a good story?
Melanie: I think lots of things can make a good story! A good story is one that a child wants to read over and over, sometimes until they have it memorized! It’s a book that they ask for every night. A good story can be funny and silly, it can be somber and make you think, it can have a moral or teach a value, or it can just take you on an adventure.
Q. What advice do you have for writers?
Melanie: This might be a passionate answer, but I truly believe this! The biggest advice for writers is to go with your gut! I was talking with another writer, who is writing her first book. It’s a beautiful book, and she had it edited. What she loved and wanted to write about making this a wonderful book for special needs children; however, it was edited out. Being so close to finishing it, this was still nagging at her, and she just felt that it needed to be in there. I told her that this was the inspiration that she was being given, and following that!
Often when we write, we might doubt our ideas, and think that an “expert” knows more than we do… but we are given this gift to share with the world, and although I could not do this without my editor, ultimately this story was a divine gift given to me, and it is not only my right but my responsibility to write it as I feel it needs to be written!
Q. What inspires you as a writer?
Melanie: The thing that inspires me most as a writer is the people around me. My parents, my children, my students. I’ve written a story about some of my children. My mom, I’ve written a funny Christmas story that my dad used to tell us about when he was a child. Someday I hope to publish each of these! Each of the children in my Unicorn book was inspired by other children that I’ve known throughout my life.
My own younger brother had cancer as a child. I have friends whose children are blind, have down syndrome, autism, are twins, have diabetes, etc. I have redheads in my family. I met a darling teenager girl with vitiligo, and on and on.
I’ve been asked by some parents to add their child’s uniqueness to this list (hearing loss, scars, hemophilia, tube-fed children, adoption, etc.… so I’m now working on a second book with another group of amazing kids.
Q. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Melanie: When I’m not writing, I’m illustrating! I started with a little book for pre-k aged children about two little bugs that learn to get along despite their differences and become good friends. I’ve illustrated all four of my books since starting in September. Also, I spend way too much time trying to promote my books.
I know that these are important and need to be out there for people to find, but that whole marketing process is so difficult for me. I love to hang out with my family and watch movies or go camping. I also love to sew, paint, teach painting classes, and anything else that taps into my creative side.
Q. What does your creative process look like?
Melanie: My creative process is probably very different from most writers. Usually, ideas come to me in the most random places. I’ve had Ideas start flooding my brain while in the shower. I had to jump out and talk text it into my phone; otherwise, I would forget it. I’ve had ideas come to me while lying in bed at night, unable to sleep, or while weeding my garden.
I had to get up and write it down because otherwise, I knew it would be gone. The ideas and words that come to me so fast sometimes feel like a flood. I believe that when these ideas come flooding so quickly and so powerfully, they are really pure inspiration. I really can’t take all credit for it, but I am grateful to help spread such important things to our world. Our world needs more goodness and light.
Children’s books can do that. Not all of my books have a powerful inspirational message. Some of them (particularly the ones that I have not yet published ) are silly, whimsical, and fun. My boys and I sat down one time, and they helped me write one about a silly mixed up zoo. It was fun, and we were all giggling as we wrote it together. I have found that using your creativity works much the same as working out your muscles. The more creativity you put out, the more creative you become! It really is amazing!
Q. What do you love most about being an Author?
Melanie: This is an easy one! The thing that I love most about being an author is when a child tells me that they love my book, or when a parent tells me that my book sparked a really wonderful, heartfelt conversation with their child. To feel like you made a difference for good in some way is so rewarding!
Q. Can you tell us about one of the most rewarding moments you have had as an author?
Melanie: It would have to be unboxing my hardcover unicorn books and seeing it for the very first time! This book was three years in the making, and I even turned down a contract with a traditional publisher to publish this one myself. I wanted to have complete creative control over this book as it is so dear to my heart. This is the first book that I wrote. The changes that they wanted to make including removing the unicorn verses, changing the name of the book, etc.
They would also own the rights to it forever. While it was a great opportunity, it was just more than felt I could give up. I couldn’t afford an illustrator at the time, but my husband kept pushing me, believed in me, and told me that I could do it myself. I started the illustrations in December, and I published it in February! I decided to order 1000 hardback offset printed copies, and then the shutdowns happened. My books were delayed a bit, but finally arrived at the end of May! It truly is a dream come true!
Q. Are you working on anything at the present that you would like to share with your readers about?
Melanie: Well, I just published a new book on June 1st! It is called “How To Tame My Anxiety Monster” it’s a book about a little boy with a big monster. No one can see it but him. He talks about how his monster makes him feel sometimes and learns about his monster. He learns that his name is anxiety, and there are some things that he can do to help tame his monster.
The book is a resource for parents and even medical professionals to talk about what anxiety is, how it might make a child feel, and gives some easy, practical tips for helping to tame their anxiety when it gets a little wild and out of control. It does this in a very child-friendly, non-scary way. Again, this was inspired by my own anxiety and helping a couple of my own children through it.
There is a parent guide at the end that gives some help and practical advice and can provide some talking points to help start conversations about this topic. With everything going on in the world, this book is SO timely, and I hope it can help make mental illness a topic that is not taboo to talk about!
Q. Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?
Melanie: I hope that my young readers (especially those that really struggle with difficult trials in their lives) will understand that everyone is different, and because of that, everyone is divinely unique and special.
One of my favorite parts of the book is on the dedication page:
You’re a unicorn, uniquely rare!
Your beauty is beyond compare.
You’re special from the day you’re born,
You really are a unicorn!
Don't Forget To Join Melanie Hawkins on Social Media!
All in all, my family and I have really enjoyed this book and we know you will too! Please feel free to leave me any comments or questions about this review. I look forward to hearing from you!
If you are looking for anymore recoommendations for childrens books about being unique that include unicorns, you can find them HERE.
* This book was kindly sent to me by Author, Melanie Hawkins in exchange for an honest review.