STARRED REVIEW
July 04, 2017

Magical creatures and real emotions

By Jacqueline K. Ogburn, illustrated by Rebecca Green
Review by

Sweet storytelling and whimsical illustrations combine to create this charming debut novel from Jacqueline Ogburn.

Share this Article:

Sweet storytelling and whimsical illustrations combine to create this charming debut novel from Jacqueline Ogburn.

Eric Harper has always loved all animals, a trait that he shares with his beloved grandmother. And now that Grandma has had to sell the family farm and move into a nursing home, perhaps the only silver lining in the whole situation is that the mother and daughter who bought the farm have set up a veterinary clinic in the main house and asked Eric to help take care of the animals. Eric soon learns that this clinic, however, has some special patients along with the normal cats and dogs, including a disappearing cat, a golden egg-laying goose and Eric’s personal favorite, a pregnant unicorn. Seeking refuge from the turmoil at home, Eric begins to spend more and more time at the clinic and becomes immersed in a world of magic that he never knew existed. But there are certain rules in this new world, and Eric may have to learn them the hard way.

This story is full of mythical creatures and the high jinks that accompany them, making for a fun, imaginative romp that any child or adult can enjoy. Ogburn writes with a distinct voice that calls to mind the Southern atmosphere in which the story takes place, enriching the reading experience. Most importantly, though, the story also has a healthy dose of tenderness and warmth, and deals with difficult topics such as illness and grief in a sensitive way. Both entertaining and enlightening, Ogburn’s debut calls attention to the magic of the story world as well as the magic of our own.

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

The Unicorn in the Barn

The Unicorn in the Barn

By Jacqueline K. Ogburn, illustrated by Rebecca Green
HMH
ISBN 9780544761124

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres every Tuesday.