If I Had a Gryphon book cover

If I Had a Gryphon

Sam just got a hamster for a pet. But the hamster is kind of boring ... he just eats and sleeps and gets his shavings wet. Inspired by her book of mythological creatures, Sam longs for a more exciting pet. But she soon realizes that taking care of these magical beasts might not be as wonderful as she thought. Sasquatches are messy, unicorns are shy, hippogriffs scare the dogs at the dogpark, and having a fire extinguisher handy at all times makes dragons seem like an awful lot of work. In the end, Sam realizes that her hamster is a pretty sweet and safe pet... or is he?

Distinctions: Finalist, OLA Forest of Reading (2017)

Ideal for:
International Literacy Day September 8, Take Me Outside Day October 20, Family Literacy Day January 27, World Read Aloud Day/ Winter Walk Day February 2, World Poetry Day March 21, DEAR: Drop Everything and Read Day April 12, Education Week May.

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If I Had a Gryphon. Text © 2016 Vikki Van Sickle Illustrations © 2016 Cale Atkinson. Reproduced by permission of Tundra Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers, a Penguin Random House Company, Toronto.

The illustrations are full of texture, colour, action, and emotion, capturing both the silliness of the story as well as the striking beauty of the creatures being described. A perfect match for the fantastical and fun tale...


Lesson Plan

The Lesson Plan for If I Had a Gryphon is available with purchase and sent to an email address provided by the school board. To view a sample Lesson Plan, click on the file below. It is based on “Trampoline Boy”.

Sample Lesson Plan
If I Had a Gryphon lesson plan cover

Book Creators

Vikki VanSickle

Vikki VanSickle portrait

Vikki VanSickle is the author of four middle grade novels, including the acclaimed Clarissa series (Words that Start with B, Love Is a Four-Letter Word and Days that End in Y) and the 2015 Red Maple Award finalist, Summer Days, Starry Nights. After obtaining an MA in Children's Literature from UBC, Vikki's career began in bookselling at The Flying Dragon Bookshop, which earned her the 2011 CBA Young Bookseller of the Year award. Currently she balances writing with her duties as the Marketing and Publicity Manager for Young Readers at Penguin Canada in Toronto. If I Had a Gryphon is her first picture book.

Cale Atkinson

Cale Atkinson portrait

Cale Atkinson is an illustrator/writer/animator who lives in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Believing in tea more than sleep, Cale is constantly working on numerous projects. His work can be found in children’s books, animated shorts, television, and games. Cale is the illustrator and author of Explorers of the Wild, To The Sea and Maxwell the Monkey Barber. Cale's always looking for new and exciting projects that challenge his skills and allow him to grow creatively.