“Greetings, humans. I am Louie the Unicorn and this is my tale.” And so begins the terrifically funny and wonderfully absurd Louie Lets Loose by Rachel Hamilton.
It’s a nicely simple premise, perfectly suited for early readers just getting used to reading novels: Young Louie the Unicorn decides to leave Story Land for the Bright Lights of New York in search of SUPERSTARDOM.
Our intrepid, selfie-snapping unicorn enrols in the New York School for Performing Arts to realise his dreams, and in doing so meets all sorts of cool mythical creatures living it large in the city. And of course, this isn’t quite the New York as we know it, though there are hot dogs and donuts, and probably gallons of coffee.
We need more bright and cheerful books like this, for this age group. Honestly, after climbing the slow mountain of the early years reading schemes, to any new reader this book will make it seem like the clouds have parted and the sun is shining down from above.
And that’s not even mentioning the ace illustrations by Oscar Armelles. They’re a quirky mix of line and photo montage, which suits the story perfectly.
If you like this, try the Claude books by Alex T Smith.
Published by Oxford University Press. RRP £5.99