Frank the Unicorn Alpaca by Gavin Puckett

Frank the Unicorn Alpaca by Gavin Puckett – at a glance

The School Reading Lists’ five word review: Confidence, zoo, overcoming fears, acceptance.
Children’s book title: Frank the Unicorn Alpaca.
Children’s author: Gavin Puckett.
Children’s illustrator: India Joseph.
Genre: Children’s fiction.
Published by: Faber Children’s.
ISBN: 9780571369621.
Recommended for children aged: 5-8 year-olds.
First published: Paperback February 2024.
This children’s book is ideal for: Helping younger children enjoy the sounds and rhythms of poetry.

Frank the Unicorn Alpaca by Gavin Puckett

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Our review:

Frank the alpaca feels a bit of a fraud. A member of the petting enclosure at the local zoo he’s absolutely sure he’s not deserving of any attention because he isn’t cute or cuddly when actually, he’s both! In fact, his favourite time of day is when everyone leaves and his world becomes calm and quiet!

After finding a book someone left behind everything changes and by the next morning, amazingly, he is a Unicorn! Suddenly Frank isn’t scared any more, he begins to feel he might belong and even the cuddles become fun! Is Frank finally all he ever wanted to be or will his change of outlook disappear as fast as it arrived?

Our verdict:

This is a fun story with an easy rhythm, which is humorous, joyful, and great to read aloud. Frank is an unlikely hero and at the beginning. everyone can sympathise with his dilemma. But once he has ‘become’ a unicorn, then it’s all about wanting him to succeed. Having realised he isn’t a fraud the ending is uplifting and this book is sure to be much loved.

Teaching points and book club discussion ideas:

  • Frank The Unicorn Alpaca could be used as an example when teaching younger students to write their own poems as, at 112 pages, there are plenty of different sections to use for prompts or ideas.
  • This book could also be used to show how the feelings of not belonging, or fitting in with their peers, or even imposter syndrome, happen to lots of people and for many reasons.
  • Students could discuss how it isn’t impossible to change things around and sometimes, like Frank, you can do so without even meaning to!

Many thanks to Faber Children’s for the review copy.

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If you like Frank the Unicorn Alpaca by Gavin Puckett you might also like: our reviews of The Final Year by Matt Goodfellow, illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton, Daydreams and Jellybeans by Alex Wharton and Katy Riddell, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot, A Passing On Of Shells by Simon Lamb and Forwards Always by Matthew Hodson.

Browse our list of books for Year 3

About Tracy Wood

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I am a voracious reader and used to be a learning support assistant in a senior school for eight years before leaving to home school my now adult daughter. I have ten grandchildren who I love reading to and spending time with. Reviews by Tracy Wood