As a former librarian and avid reader, I love sharing new books with my kiddos. Both my kids also love stuffed animals. My kids especially enjoy playing with plush toys that correspond to their favorite books. Thus, when recently offered the chance to review a copy of the Buffy Meets the Zoonicorns written by Mark Lubratt and illustrated by Sara Weingartner and Valeo Zoonicorn plush toy in exchange for my honest opinion, I eagerly accepted the opportunity.
Zoonicorn began with an idea to create a unique plush toy for children that combined an exotic animal (zebra) and mythical creature (unicorn). Each adorable and sweet character has been designed for parents to interact with their kids through new interactive games, and stories. As very special creatures that visit the dreams of young zoo animals who need help, Zoonicorns also encourage life lessons through each adventure.
Price and Design
I received a copy of Buffy Meets the Zoonicorns and a plush Zoonicorn. The book currently costs $16.95, and the plush toy costs $9.99. Author Mark Lubratt is a Minnesota-based airline pilot who spends a lot of time in the clouds, imagining other lands. Illustrator Sara Weingartner has loved drawing since she was a little girl. Buffy Meets the Zoonicorns is first children’s book written by Lubratt and the third illustrated by Weingartner. The thirty-two page hardback book features a little bison named Buffy who feels restless in her zoo home. Valeo is the blue Zoonicorn who is the leader of the pack.
Buffy was restless, zigzagging across her pen in the City Zoo.
The monkeys were shrieking.
The lions were roaring.
The seals were barking.
Her pen felt so small and she felt so large.
She wanted to be alone.
As Buffy Meets the Zoonicorns begins, a young bison named Buffy finds herself feeling restless in her zoo enclosure. Knowing her daughter will have a restless night, her mother sings her an ancient zoo lullaby. When Buffy falls to sleep, she dreams about a herd of Zoonicorns, magical creatures that are part zebra and part unicorn. As she wakes up the next day next to her mother, she realizes that she is home again and feels at peace.
I quite enjoyed the positive message of acceptance and belonging that Buffy Meets the Zoonicorns teaches to young readers. I recommend the book for readers between kindergarten and third grade. My daughter, who has been reading on her own for about six months, can read most of the text on her own already. Younger and older readers can also enjoy the story. My toddler son loves looking at the colorful pictures as I read the book aloud. I also really love the illustrations, which are full of color and a little bit of whimsy. My son absolutely loves pointing at the bison and Zoonicorns on each page. My kids and I are definitely looking forward to future titles in the series.
Both my kindergartener daughter and toddler son love playing with their new plush Zoonicorn. Valeo is white with blue stripes. The stuffed animal measures approximately 6.5 by 3.5 by 6.5 inches. I find the current price quite reasonable for a plush toy of this size. My kiddos can be a little rough on toys, but Valeo has held up to their abuse beautifully so far. His stitching is even and secure. I really appreciate that his eyes, nose, and mouth are embroidered on. I do not have to worry about any small pieces falling off and posing a choking hazard. My daughter loves holding on to him while she reads the book.
If you are searching for a new book and character set for your young reader, definitely check out Zoonicorns. I received a copy of Buffy Meets the Zoonicorns written by Mark Lubratt and illustrated by Sara Weingartner and a Valeo Zoonicorn plush toy. Zoonicorns, magical creatures that are part zebra and part unicorn, encourage life lessons through each adventure. I quite enjoyed the positive message of acceptance and belonging in the first book. My kindergartener daughter can already read most of the text herself, and both my kids enjoy listening to me read the story aloud. Both my kiddos also love the high-quality plush Zoonicorn that complements the book. I am very much looking forward to future titles in the Zoonicorn series!
‘Buffy Meets the Zoonicorns’ and Valeo Zoonicorn Plush Toy Review © 2016 Heather Johnson
‘Buffy Meets the Zoonicorns’ and Valeo Zoonicorn Plush Toy © 2016 Heather Johnson
Cover of ‘Buffy Meets the Zoonicorns’ © 2016 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of ‘Buffy Meets the Zoonicorns’ © 2016 Heather Johnson
Valeo Zoonicorn Plush Toy © 2016 Heather Johnson