Margaret’s Unicorn by Briony May Smith (9781984896537)
Margaret and her parents moved to a faraway place to be closer to her grandmother. When they got there, the rooms were bare and strange. Her parents sent Margaret out to explore, warning her not to go past the big stone. When Margaret reached the stone at the end of the garden, she could see the sea. And up in the clouds were unicorns that disappeared in a blink. As Margaret headed home, she heard a noise and discovered a baby unicorn tangled in the weeds. Her grandmother was shocked to see the unicorn, because she thought they had all disappeared. They had to get flowers for the unicorn to eat from the local shop and soon made him a cozy nest in Margaret’s room. That night, they gathered water touched by the moon, which made the unicorn’s horn glow. Margaret cared for the unicorn all the way until spring returned. Then Margaret returned the unicorn to its herd and its mother. Will Margaret ever see her unicorn again?
Smith has created a magical picture book about unicorns that isn’t sparkly and full of glitter. It’s a beautiful homey sort of magic, fed with flowers and moon-touched water. It’s also a book about caring for something but also being willing to return it and let it leave you. Because she knows she will lose the unicorn in spring, the entire book is filled with a wistfulness that plays well with the wonder of having your own unicorn.
The illustrations add so much to the appeal of the book. Filled with landscapes of moors and hills that butt up against the sea, the land is wild and wondrous too. There is a distinct coziness to the images, of a family that works together to create their new home and one for the baby unicorn too.
A lovely look at unicorns, families and love. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by Schwartz & Wade.