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Vikki VanSickle, illustrated by Cale Atkinson
If I Had a Gryphon



Book Cover

A fun and funny read aloud about the perils of mythological pet ownership, and an ode to the humble hamster, from Lainey Gossip’s YA mentor Vikki VanSickle—a children’s author with a proven track record—and Disney illustrator Cale Atkinson.

Sam just got a hamster for a pet. But the hamster is kinda boring . . . he just eats and sleeps and gets his shavings wet. Inspired by her book of mythological creatures, the little girl longs for a more exciting pet. But she soon realizes that having these magical beasts as pets might not be as great as she thought. Unicorns are shy, gryphons scare the dogs at the dogpark, and having a fire extinguisher handy at all times makes dragons seem less appealing. In the end, Sam realizes that her hamster is a pretty good, safe pet . . . or is he?


Praise for Vikki VanSickle's If I Had a Gryphon:

Nominee, OLA Blue Spruce Award (2017)

“Already bored with her new hamster, a girl with ochre skin, rosy cheeks, and square-framed glasses imagines life with an array of mythological creatures as pets. VanSickle (Summer Days, Starry Nights) and Atkinson (To the Sea) have a blast envisioning the possibilities . . . VanSickle’s rhymes are unflaggingly exuberant . . . and Atkinson fills the pages with visual comedy.”
Publishers Weekly

Praise for Vikki VanSickle's Summer Days, Starry Nights:

Starred selection, CCBC Best Books for Kids and Teens (2013)
OLA Best Bet (2013)
Finalist, Red Maple Awards (2015)

"Summer Days, Starry Nights is a love letter to summer, the 1960s, and the decade's music . . . Through Reenie's innocent eyes, author Vikki VanSickle beautifully captures the novel's time and place. Reenie's affection for Sandy Shores shines through the lush descriptions of the resort and its surroundings. It's hard not to fall in love with Reenie's favourite place. And it's just as hard not to fall in love with Reenie." —Quill & Quire

"Summer Days, Starry Nights examines the delicate balance between individuality and preserving our sense of home." —National Post

“VanSickle taps into ’60s culture lightly and effectively, celebrating the bodily freedom of dance while she tracks Reenie’s developing self-knowledge and comfort with her small town, family resort setting. Not everyone has to leave for the city at the end of August, she seems to say in this comfortable, end-of-summer read.” —The Toronto Star

“Vikki VanSickle pens a story that is like a classic rock-and-roll song: there is a familiarity to its melody . . . it is a pleasing sound that resonates with all. Summer Days, Starry Nights is sure to be a summer hit” —Can Lit for Little Canadians

“Vikki ably paces her story — mysteries unfold, friendships blossom, and as the stakes are raised on the action, the suspense builds to a satisfying climax and big reveal . . . A dramatic revelation, well developed characters, and natural dialogue all combine to create an engaging summer read . . .  its old-fashioned charm will entertain older readers who remember sitting on the front porch with a glass of lemonade and the latest Trixie Belden or Judy Blume novel.” —Your Hidden Shelf


Length: 32 pages (hc)
Genre: Children's picture book
Publication Date: February 9, 2016

World (Tundra Books)
Simplified Chinese (Beijing United Publishers)

For all other rights contact The Cooke Agency.

Vikki VanSickle

Vikki VanSickle has a BA (Hons) in Drama from Queen's University and an MA in Children's Literature from the University of British Columbia. She is an active member of the children's literature community, presenting at academic conferences, reviewing books, and managing her popular children's lit blog, pipedreaming. A former CBA award-winning bookseller, she currently splits her time between working as the Marketing and Publicity Manager for Young Readers at Penguin Canada and writing.