Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn

In a breathtakingly adorable picture book by superstar creative team Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham (Real Friends and Best Friends), a tiny cat and a towering unicorn learn that true friends see each other for who they really are.

Kitty thinks she might be a unicorn. She wears a pointy horn and "prances on her pawed, clawed, unicorn hooves. She gallops on her eensy-weensy unicorn legs." But: "You're a cat," says Parakeet. "And that's that," says Gecko. Undaunted, Kitty continues to strut her unicorn-y stuff... until a real unicorn comes along and bursts her bubble with his sheer magnificence. It turns out, though, that Unicorn has his own dreams of glory: "Did you know," he whispers, "that I am a Kitty-corn?" "Yes," Kitty says, "I see that now"--one Kitty-corn always knows another. The two "toss their manes... brandish their horns" and scamper together after bumblebees before stretching out in a patch of grass.

Newbery Honor author Hale (Princess Academy; Kind of a Big Deal) and Caldecott Honor illustrator Pham (Bear Came Along; Outside, Inside) have created a sweetheart of a picture book. Pham's digital illustrations are awash in hot pink and purple, which smartly uses readers' own biases to set them up for a frivolous story. But no! Kitty, though cute as a (pink, fluffy) bug, has a serious identity issue to work out. She is a cat on the outside, but who is she on the inside? Who does she want to be? Combining emotive illustrations that make excellent use of white space and only a few brief lines of text per page, the pair capture the poignance of the struggle to find oneself. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

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