By Author / Illustrator
Jodie Lancet-Grant, illus Lydia Corry
Mental Health & Wellbeing
Oxford University Press
Paperback / softback
No magical creature has a problem too big for Ava and her Dads to solve! Unicorns with tummy trouble. Dragons with broken wings. Sneezy centaurs and mermaids with measles. Everyone in town knows just who to see when they are feeling poorly: Ava and her dads, the Marvellous Doctors for Magical Creatures.
Well, Ava isn't a doctor, not yet, but she's learning the ropes and she's brilliant at solving medical mysteries. Glitterbug the unicorn is not like all the other unicorns. They love dancing and planning parties, but she would much rather be frolicking in the mud. Glitterbug comes to the Marvellous Doctors with a terrible tummy ache, but after examining her, they are mystified as to what's causing it. Can Ava help her dads find the answer?
In this magical story about being true to yourself, Ava discovers there's more than one way to be a unicorn! An inclusive picture book celebrating kindness, friendship and being true to yourself.
The Marvellous Doctors for Magical Creatures is a fantastic story that covers many themes which currently have limited resource availability. In a child friendly manner, the author and illustrator have represented LGBTQ+ in a brilliant way which shows children that everyone can be individual and have the right to happiness. This is a great resource to teach children that by being themselves, however that may be, is ok and is fully acceptable.
It models the confusion that may be felt as they journey through discovering their own identity, and reassures the reader that with the support of friends, family, adults or professionals, happiness and acceptance can be reached.
Ava has two Dads who are the town's doctors for magical creatures. When Glitterbug the unicorn comes in complaining of a horrible tummy ache, no-one can get to the bottom of it. Ava, loving a mystery, decides to try and solve this one herself. After spending a whole day with Glitterbug and having lots of unicorn fun whilst preparing for a party, Ava comes home feeling sad and disappointed as she found no reason for Glitterbug's problem. With determination, Ava returns the next day but Glitterbug is nowhere to be seen.
Suddenly, a huge storm begins and all the unicorns head for cover. All except Glitterbug. She appears and begins enjoying the mud and rain. Ava has never seen her so happy and amazingly, her tummy ache has gone! Glitterbug loves black, moody skies and storms, and being alone. As a rainbow appears, Ava solves the mystery. Glitterbug may be a unicorn but she's not your typical glitter loving, colourful unicorn and that's ok.
Reviewed by Maria, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 5+
The Marvellous Doctors for Magical Creatures - Ava's two dads - help all sorts of magical creatures to feel better, but they don't know what to do about Glitterbug the unicorn when she arrives with a sore tummy, so Ava decides to investigate.
As everyone gets ready for a pink and glittery unicorn party, Glitterbug hides away at first before coming to the party and pretending that she is enjoying herself. It's only when it rains and all the unicorns except Glitterbug rush for cover that Ava realises what the problem is; Glitterbug isn't like the other unicorns and must be true to herself to make herself feel better.
Every child who loves unicorns will delight in this story and 'pink and sparkly' habits of unicorns - and the inbuilt jokes from the author and illustrator (I loved the 'Yet another unicorn party!' sign). The pages are full of lovely details that children will pore over, from the dragon on the street to the unicorn's 'dramatic dance routines'. It's all very pink and sparkly - until we see Glitterbug break out into her own routines in the rain, emerging as a black and white unicorn.
This is a lovely, inclusive story for children aged four and above that explores identity and the importance of being oneself - not every child enjoys the same things or being loud all the time; some will prefer being quiet and playing on their own.
Picture book / Reviewed by Elen
Suggested Reading Age 5+