Sing Like a Unicorn by J A Redmore and Jason Crowley
Jeremy Redmore first sprung into the spotlight with his band Midnight Youth. Their success was exponential and brought both national and international success. Like all things, these things too must pass with the band breaking up and along came a solo career, and now a pivot to something new and exciting - children’s books. Redmore drew on his own experiences and ideas in singing and music and thus inspired this new picture book.
Sing Like a Unicorn takes this idea of using his own journey to inspire others in a book along with collaboration from one of his old band mates turned UI/UX expert Jason Crowley, that seeks to bring out a similarly strong sense of self-confidence within the reader. The story is based on the main character of the unicorn - a rather larger than life character with a strong jawline who has a beautiful - and definitely unique - singing voice.
As a story, Redmore pushes the idea that if unicorns could sing they would most certainly have a unique sound and by extension so too do we all as individuals. Structurally the influence of songwriting comes through in spades, he uses the rhyme to help the story bounce along in a jaunty sort of way. The rhythm adds to the overall whimsical nature of the narrative and clearly connects with a musicality. Writing wise, Redmore shows a strong understanding of the thematic development throughout with a strong message for young readers. It’s ok to be yourself.
The illustrations of Crowley are visually on point, focused on the lovable unicorn figure as the close friend of a young lad who struggles with his own belief but finds strength in the unicorn. The drawings are unique in their own right, and they bring a bit of Crowley’s personality to the fore. A valuable lesson on confidence and resilience.
Overall, the voice that Redmore uses throughout is quite something - part music, part story, all heart. He is an inspired creative doing exciting things in the space when musicians are struggling with lock down restrictions. This book is the culmination of multiple years of work and is cause for celebration. Sing Like a Unicorn is here to stay and should be part of all school libraries as recommended reading.
Reviewer: Chris Reed