This is the story of Sugarlump the rocking horse, who’s searching for his place in the world.
Tired of being a toy, Sugarlump wishes to be real horse- a wish granted by a silver horned blue-eyed unicorn. Unfortunately being a real farm horse turns out to be rather laborious and our horsy finds himself wishing for a change again.
With the help of his magical friend the little rocking horse becomes a race horse, and then a circus horse, and then goes back home only to be relegated to the attic when the kids grow up.
Luckily the unicorn knows him better than he knows himself, finally whisking him off to a happy-ever-after as a Carousel horse.
Rhyming and rhythmic the language is splendid and the Lydia Monks illustrations are bright and fun and full of little surprises.
All the same this isn’t a book that stands out from the crowd and it’s certainly not Julia’s best. I felt it lacked a bit of a human touch, a bit of character. More importantly however, I wasn’t really sure what it was trying to say. To me the best children’s books have subtle themes that give the stories backbone– this one seemed to say the grass was always greener on the other side, and you can just give up on something whenever you don’t feel like it any more. Sugarlump’s not just fickle, he’s a bit of a whinger.
As far as stories about toys coming alive go, it has nothing on the Velveteen Rabbit or Pinocchio, although the glitter is bound to thrill the little ones!