Uni the Unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Brigette Barrager
Released August 26, 2014.
Do you believe in unicorns? One might expect the main question of this book to be just that, but instead it’s a question of whether unicorns should believe in little girls. Uni was a normal unicorn in most ways. She may have had extra sparkly eyes and her mane may be extra luxurious, but she could heal with her horn like the others and make wishes come true too. But the one thing that made Uni different was that she believed that little girls were actually real! Her parents just smiled at her when she insisted little girls were real and her friends laughed at her. But Uni just knew that somewhere in the world was a little girl just for her. And out in the world, there was.
Rosenthal has written a book with a surprise twist that makes it fresh and radiant. Using the unicorn as the heart of the book and indisputably real is a delightful way to approach this mythical beast. Rosenthal writes that both the unicorn and the girl are looking for a friend who is “strong smart wonderful magical.” The emphasis on that rather than beauty is appreciated, particularly in a book about unicorns.
Barrager’s art is lush and colorful. Her digital illustrations feel like pop art with their modern edge. Showing Uni longing for her little girl by reading books and drawing pictures is a clever and clear way to tie her to the little girls who may be longing for a unicorn.
I’m not a huge unicorn fan and hate drippy books that are too sweet. Unicorn fans will adore this book and those of us on the lookout for books that are saccharine will be pleasantly surprised. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from ARC received from Random House Children’s Books.