Manticores are not real by Nick Dyrenfurth

cover image

Illus. by Andrew McIntosh. Little Steps, 2019. ISBN: 9781925839500.
Manticores are not real is a picture book about Micah, a young boy who is awoken in his dreams by a manticore (a creature part lion, part flamingo and part gazelle with a man's face!) who takes him on an adventure to his mystical land with a pinkish sky, shimmering mountains and many other manticore friends. They attend a party and have a wonderful time. The story concludes with Micah being woken by his father, and he wonders if it was all a dream or if in fact . . . manticores were real!
To be honest I was not a huge fan of this book. The story was so similar to many I had read before: child has a dream, wakes within the dream, goes on adventure, wakes up in the morning and wonders whether it was all real or not; and unfortunately it didn't really hit the mark.
The rhyming throughout was clumsy and I found it hard to read with a good flow - I had to keep going back over sections to get them to sound right. There were words put in that seemed to be written just to keep the rhyme but did not make a lot of sense.
The illustrations were nice, I liked the colours and the attention to detail in the shading and landscapes.
I think this book could have been written about a real child who has had this very dream! This is a lovely gesture and will be an amazing keepsake for years to come. I think the rhyming could be refined a bit more to ensure that it is easy to read with flow and good intonation.
I give this book 2 out of 5.
Lauren Fountain