Uni the Unicorn
written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; illustrated by Brigette Barrager
2014 (Random House)
Source: Orange County Public Library
Uni the Unicorn goes above and beyond all of the check marks of your unicorn list. Magnificent mane. Golden hooves. Sparkling purple eyes. She's definitely spectacular. Of course, other unicorns are all of these things as well. What makes her really unique (wordplay for $500, Alex!) is that she believes little girls are real. Gasp! Uni gets the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer treatment from her friends and her parents knowingly smile so they can move quickly away from this uncomfortable topic. This doesn't dissuade Uni. She draws pictures of little girls and imagines that one day she will be able to frolic with one and do things like help woodland creatures in need and slide down rainbows. (I think it would be cool to go through the drive-thru at Dairy Queen and order large Blizzards. But that's just me.) Uni goes blissfully off to sleep not knowing that a real actual little girl is thinking of a unicorn and facing similar doubting Thomases in her life.
If you screw up your eyes a little, you can see in small type on the cover that this is a story about believing. Can you imagine where you can go with this two part question: "Do you believe in things that you can't see and why?" That would be a great writing assignment. I really like where this book could lead. We don't talk much about belief with children. Why do we believe in George Washington and not unicorns? An interesting discussion indeed. Amy Krouse Rosenthal has penned another smart book that will probably be under appreciated. Now to find Kevin Costner and that baseball field in Iowa.