Bedtime story comes alive for sixth-grade author

Postlethwait Middle School sixth-grader Irelynn Farrington, 11, sporting a unicorn necklace. talks about her new book “The Perfect Unicorn”, which she wrote with her mother Jodi. (Caesar Rodney School District/Dave Chambers)

CAMDEN — Unicorns are imaginary, so having her favorite pet wasn’t possible.

Irelynn Farrington brought her dream to life in print, however.

“The Perfect Unicorn” is a children’s book written by an unusually imaginative 11-year-old author.

It’s been four years since she first told it to her mom Jodi during a nightly bedtime story session.

“I love unicorns so I told the story,” Irelynn said simply when asked what inspired the plot.

Mom was floored by the detail and depth of her then-7-year-old daughter’s yarn.

“I told her at the time ‘Irelynn, this is absolutely amazing, it would make a great book,’” Ms. Farrington said.

“I couldn’t believe the vocabulary she was using. I didn’t even know she knew some of the words she was using.

Irelynn holds up her book, The Perfect Unicorn.” She already has a second tale “Stranded” on the way.

“I was stunned by the language that went into the story.”

The plot involves an evil troll who kidnaps a princess and unicorns to control a kingdom, only to be defeated by a heroic knight in a “magically ever after” conclusion.

It wasn’t easy to translate a made-up bedtime story into a book with illustrations.

Mother and daughter worked to create literature suitable for publishing, which came on Dec. 17, 2016.

“It takes forever,” Irelynn said.

When the final product neared completion, Ms. Farrington said she “teared up.

“I told Irelynn ‘Oh my goodness, this is your vision, this is your story.’”

The pre-teen had creative control, and went back and forth with an illustrator to make sure the characters, particularly the knight, indicated a diverse world.

“I approve of all races,” Irelynn said.

The 28-page paperback is receiving rave reviews on Amazon.com, including:

• “What a sweet story! The illustrations are nicely done. Irelynn is a talented and imaginative author.”

• “Delightful story of the eternal battle between good and evil. Quite imaginative with all kinds of twists and turns. Keep writing!”

• “Fantastic imagination! So proud to know this child with such beautiful stories! Keep writing, Irelynn. Do what you love and we’ll keep reading.”

The paperback version sells for $12.99, and $3.99 on Kindle. Each paperback sale generates $2 for children’s cancer research.

Ms. Farrington estimated that several hundred copies have been printed so far.

“Every single time I turn around, someone I know has bought the book,” she said of her daughter’s work.

The author, a sixth-grader at Postlethwait Middle School, said she’s fascinated by unicorns because “they’re part magic, they’re part horse.” She’s worn earrings, shirts and pants with their images for years now.

Pointing to the school’s core values, Postlethwait principal Dr. Kristina Failing acknowledged Irelynn’s grit in following through on her passions.

“We applaud her,” Dr. Failing said. “This is a great example of what we would like every kid to do, which is take a mindset of whatever they believe they can do, they go do it.”

When she’s not watching television (“Teen Titans Go” and “Star vs. The Forces of Evil” especially) YouTube videos, flicks (“Wonder Woman” and “The Emoji Movie” are favorites) or Netflix shows, Irelynn stays busy with Girl Scouts, karate and swimming programs.

A sequel entitled “Stranded” about children shipwrecked on an island is already underway.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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