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Children's Fiction Poetry (see Also Stories In Verse)

Robot, Unicorn, Queen

by (author) Shannon Bramer

illustrated by Irene Luxbacher

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Oct 2023
Poetry (see also Stories in Verse), Emotions & Feelings, Imagination & Play
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2023
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 9
  • Grade: 1 to 4


A collection of poems that explore childhood experiences—from the whimsical to the poignant—by Shannon Bramer, with magical art by Irene Luxbacher.

Shannon Bramer’s follow-up to her much-loved poetry book Climbing Shadows is a collection of poems that explore a range of childhood experiences. Many poems reveal what it feels like to be a child—to pretend and dream and play with abandon, as well as to hurt and regret and feel sorrowful. The poems are varied in form, and while some are simple and direct, others invite children to see the potential for play and discovery in words and language.

In the opening poem a child welcomes their newborn sibling, while the last poem is a surreal lullaby. In between we find poems about a child who listens to a toad, who feels left out, who loves the beach, who must practice piano, who accidentally breaks their mother’s favorite plate, who doesn’t want to eat their lunch, whose pet budgies have died, who visits their father on weekends, and more.

Readers young and old will see themselves in these beautifully illustrated poems—a collection full of laughter, tears and wonder.


Key Text Features

author’s note



table of contents

writing inspiration


Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:


Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.

About the authors

Shannon Bramer was born in Hamilton, Ontario, and now lives in Toronto. She is a playwright and poet who writes books for human beings of all ages. She is the author of suitcases and other poems (winner, Hamilton and Region Best Book Award), scarf, The Refrigerator Memory, Precious Energy, and Climbing Shadows: Poems for Children, illustrated by Cindy Derby. Shannon also conducts poetry workshops in schools and is the editor of Think City: The Poems of Gracefield Public School. Her plays (Monarita, The Collectors, and The Hungriest Woman in the World) have appeared in juried festivals across the country, among them: New Ideas (Toronto), the Women's Work Festival (St. John's), and Sarasvati FemFest (Winnipeg). Shannon's plays have all been developed in St. John's, Newfoundland, thanks to the Women's Work Festival, where she has returned with a new script-in-progress five times since 2009.

Shannon Bramer's profile page

IRENE LUXBACHER est à la fois auteure, illustratrice et artiste. Elle a publié de nombreux livres d’activités artistiques et albums jeunesse dont Le jardin imaginaire de grand-papa, d’Andrew Larsen, mis en nomination pour le Prix du Gouverneur général dans la catégorie illustrations. Irene habite à Toronto où elle travaille actuellement à la création de nouveaux tableaux et albums.


IRENE LUXBACHER was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for her illustrations in Andrew Larsen’sThe Imaginary Garden (Le jardin imaginaire de grand-papa). She has illustrated several other picture books, including Mittens to Share (Une mitaine pour deux), The Heart’s Song (Le grand cœur de madame Lili), as well as her own picture books Once I Was a Bear (Lorsque j’étais un ours…) and Mattoo, Let’s Play! (Viens jouer, Matou!). She lives in Toronto, Ontario with her husband and young son. You can learn more about her work at

Irene Luxbacher's profile page


  • Commended, NCTE Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels

Editorial Reviews

Accompanying each poem is a stunning illustration from Luxbacher that uses a mix of watercolor and collage. The images are bright and soft, evocative of playfulness, and simultaneously hazy like a warm memory.

School Library Journal

Unique windows on childhood … Robot, Unicorn, Queen is a wonderful collection.

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

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