What Kind of Unicorn Are You? Choose Kind

/ January 14, 2020

What Kind of Unicorn Are You is a Very Sweet Question. Children often ask, What Kind of Unicorn Are You? Where do you get the idea for the name Unicorn Jazz and Why did you pick a unicorn?

What Kind of Unicorn Are You


Children often ask, What Kind of Unicorn Are You? Where do you get the idea for the name Unicorn Jazz and Why did you pick a unicorn?  – By Lisa Caprelli, children’s book author

My niece’s name is Jasmine. She has a brother named Phil. Both of them were adopted when they were very little, from Russia, by my oldest sister, Debbie.  I instantly had a bond with Jasmine. When you meet her bubbly personality and joy for life, you cannot help but smile. I used to call her Jazzy-Jazz and made up a song that used the words “Jazzy girl, oh, jazzy girl” in my off tuned voice. It always made her laugh.

When I decided that I was going to write a children’s book series, about a unicorn, the first name that popped into my head was Jazz. I thought, my unicorn needs a name.  I shared my ideas with (my fiance at the time) Dr. Chris. With huge excitement and very descriptive visions, I proclaimed, “I’m going to write books about a unciorn. Her name is Jazz. One day shells be a household name like Hello Kitty, Mickey Mouse…but here is Unicorn Jazz!

I painted Unicorn Jazz and a week later decided I needed an artist who could take my ideas and visions and run with them.  Enter Davey Villalobos. By the way, I had not spoken to Davey in awhile. He’s my cousin from my hometown of El Paso, Texas. 


When you grow up and you have ideas for who has what talent, you can go through this mental Rolodex in your brain of who can I ask that would understand.  Davey came to mind. I knew that he loved sketching and drawing. I had to get his current number from my brother. We spoke. Speaking what felt like 200 hundred words a minute, i explained the future visions. He got it. I told him for book one we had two months to reach a goal of having it into a book before Christmas. Unicorn Jazz’s birthday is December 18th (coincidentally my sister Suzanne’s birthday).

I went back to my childhood friends who helped me quickly get into schools to spread the jazzy love of book one. My aunt, Tia Lucy, from El Paso who works as a cafeteria manager at Del Norte Elementary, shared Unicorn Jazz with her principal, Mrs. Poblano and counselor, Mrs. Soto. They graciously invited me into their school.  And I got to see the instant joy on boys and girls alike.

It’s just been surreal.  And I feel like I come up for air, like a whale who takes a long swim, I do take little breaks and aim to balance life with family and learn to not say the word “unicorn” for a whole day if you can believe that.

 There are so many stories I’ve written that we’ve carefully selected for what is next. And I get so many ideas, even from children…we do the best we can to incorporate them into new stories.

 Bee-ing Happy was something we wanted simple, fun and full of colorful ways to show children how happiness can be found in SIMPLE and easy, seemingly free activities.  I went back to my childhood, part of Davey’s childhood as seem in the drawing Bee-ing Happy is playing make believe.

 That was us playing in the backyard of my grandmother’s house, a silly game we called “Wonder Woman, Godzilla and all that!”

 So I share with children I meet in person how using true stories, imagination and creativity can bring something to life.

 Fast forward to the next book Eye See You: Choosing Kindness.  This is based partially off my childhood experience of being bullied, wearing glasses, being made fun of, feeling odd…….

 The fourth book called “The Thing I Do” I wrote at 2 in the morning the night before my gracious Grandmother passed away while I was back in El Paso, Texas.

 This one is different and was supposed to be. Fun, entertaining, laughable, questionable, thought-provoking, rhyming… Maybe like a Dr. Seuss book but with our own unique stories of course…now that I knew Davey’s art was greater than I ever thought possible.

 It too has a song, but I’d make it a rap, fun and fast song.

Remember Jasmine’s brother named Phil? 

Well, he is nothing like Jasmine. He wears glasses, he is not the same color as her, nor am I.  He likes to sing and rap and creates original tunes out of his closet with a computer and his own imagination.  He can draw unique art on his iPad with his finger. Original art that I see in music album covers.

 I see his talent and he’s too young to know that it’s really THAT good!  He doesn’t draw fairies and princesses. He likes to draw things that I think a metallic or rock band would appreciate.

 With The Thing I Do, I wanted something different.  Because we are all different.

 I immediately KNEW he could be the voice and musical inspiration behind it. I read the story to him aloud, describing step by step what each page (not drawn yet) would be.   He got it.

what kind of unicorn are you I find it’s better to let creative people be raw and run with ideas.  We went back and forth a lot developing a vision, while Aisha Armer (Asia became the flamingos name on book 3), worked with Phil.

 I got involved again at the end to include in Phil’s rap song big words I wanted from book four. Marry Poppins has supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in it.  Why can’t I use a few big words in our book?

 With odd faces asking me why am I doing this different kind of book, I kept going with it.

 I knew Davey would put the “odd ideas” together with art.

 Sometimes ART can show more than what our words cannot.

 And I wanted to make children laugh with the story and the song.  That was it. As a mom, I remember making up stories that were SO Silly but my boys laughed so hard, I knew that we could do the same with a book. Not all books need to be serious.

 Let’s have fun.

 Creating whatever you want as an adult form of play.

 And being 7 again … Really being 7 again is just serendipitous.

We have been overjoyed with love for them just like they are family. In fact, if you’ve never known kids that were adopted, as was me, you forget the word adopted and erase it with – they are family.


Lisa is a Latina mother and educator, born and raised in El Paso, Texas.  She presently lives in Huntington Beach, California and is grateful to have made Southern California her home for 20 years.  She the brand creator of children’s book series called Unicorn Jazz and Skip a Step for young scholars.  She taught at Long Beach State, has experience speaking to elementary to middle school to keynoting to high school students.

orange county childrens book author visit by lisa caprelliAWARD RECOGNITION  

The opportunity to present a Certificate of Kindness to one of your young scholars.  Lisa gifts a student with Unicorn Jazz books, plush and other freebies. Signed by the principal, librarian and author.

  • Supports STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), 
  • Encourages Social Emotional Learning and emotional intelligence.  
  • The first book, Unicorn Jazz, a Mom’s Choice Award recipient, has also been turned into a play for classrooms/music/drama. 

Please email lisa@lisacaprelli.com for free Beyond the Book activities for your library with complimentary printables, curriculum guide, fun activities, puppet kits, friendship song, coloring pages, 3D printer file and a zoo field trip guide.   

For free unicorn coloring pages and more – click here

Share this Post