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Carrol Titus
Unicorn Blue And The Caradoodle Quest
CATitus, author

Picture Book; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

Unicorn Blue has just been born and is clueless. How will she learn to be an epic unicorn let alone find her Caradoodle? Kind-hearted and keen General Mahoo’s top notch instructors will guide her on her quest to become the unicorn she was meant to be and find her kindred spirit child. Captain Jay and Lieutenant Luk will charm readers with their gentle humor and quiet wisdom as they prepare Unicorn Blue for her encounters with devious leprechaun Shamus, mischievous donkeys and elusive Caradoodle. With double crosses and double trouble at every turn, will Unicorn Blue discern her true blue Caradoodle? Or will she reveal herself to the wrong child and cease to exist? This new classic coming of age tale whisks readers off on a fantastic flight of fancy through the majestic granite peaks, cascading waterfalls and celestial sunsets of Yosemite Valley.
In Titus’s charming, lighthearted fantasy for young readers, a unicorn named Blue is on a mission to meet her Caradoodle–that is, her “one and only kindred spirit child” who will turn her “from a daydream into a real live unicorn.” The only catch: if Blue chooses the wrong child, she will cease to exist. To test the character of the kids she encounters, Blue disguises herself as a regular horse, first meeting a “devilishly handsome” but rude boy and a pretty girl “with a captivating song” who treats her cruelly. Soon, Blue realizes she needs to “focus on character and substance” instead of appearance.

That’s when she meets Keela, who makes Blue feel safe enough to reveal her true nature. Together they soar off into the sky, “twirl[ing] through tons of sparkly shooting stars and wing[ing] over the man in the moon.” Their bond may be the crux of the story, but there’s also much more going on. Blue gets flying lessons from a blue jay, trades insults with a gang of donkeys, and learns magic from a plucky illusionist named Lieutenant Luk. Titus has packed a lot into such a short tale, which is exciting but at times makes some aspects feel rushed.

Throughout the story, colorful and stylized illustrations show Blue interacting with people and magical beings while she spreads her glittering wings in front of mountains, waterfalls, and a starry sky. The fun doesn’t stop with the last page, either–Titus has included a glossary of “Celtic Lore & Legend,” interesting recipes like “Evergreen Tea,” and detailed information about different horse breeds and their temperaments. School-aged children will find the extras at the end absorbing—and possibly a bit overwhelming—but the most dazzling part of the story is the relationship between Blue and Keela, which will give kids the chance to recognize the qualities they appreciate in their own friends.

Takeaway: A charming fantasy adventure where a unicorn named Blue is on a mission to learn the true meaning of friendship.

Great for fans of: Maddy Mara’s Dragon Girls series, Dan Santat’s The Adventures of Beekle.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: B
Illustrations: B+
Editing: B+
Marketing copy: B

Google Books

1. Mom of young children, "My 7yr old's favorite part was the maps...we spent an hour reading them!"

2. Mom of young children, "Is your book available in print? I love it!"

3. Aunt of young girl, "Thank you for sharing! This is on my list for my niece!

4. Grandma of young children, "I want two copies for my grandchildren!"

5. Facebook Mom Influencer, "This is cool! Awesome illustrations!"

6. Bookstore Owner, "Beautifully illustrated and keenly told American Tall Tale to enjoy by the light of a campfire."

7. Added to Los Altos Elementary School and Children's Library Collections.

8. Nominated for a Triple Crown Wholesome Book for Today's Kids Award.

9 Added to the Harding University Library Collection.

10. Dubbed as Bildungsroman Genre, "Educational & Philosophical Value" by Harding University

11. Mom of young children, "My 3yr old has been running around with the book asking everyone to read it!"

12. Mom of young children, "The book just came in the mail, the kids were so excited!! It's just beautiful!!"

13. Mom of young children, "Find the Unicorn we were Meant to be...Love It!  Have to buy it!