Monday, October 12, 2020

Review - Margaret's Unicorn

Margaret's Unicorn

by Briony May Smith
Date: 2020
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

A perfect gift for the unicorn lovers in your life, this lovely and utterly transporting picture book tells the story of what every little girl wishes would happen to her: a girl finds and takes care of a lost baby unicorn.

Margaret's whole world changes when her family moves to a cottage by the sea to be near her grandma. One evening, Margaret spots a mist over the water. No, that's not mist...clouds maybe? No, they're unicorns descending onto the shore! They vanish as quickly as they'd appeared, but accidentally leave behind a baby, tangled in the weeds. Margaret, lonely and in need of a friend, brings him home and cares for him through the fall and winter. Together, they chase the waves, stomp on frozen puddles, and build snow unicorns. When spring finally comes around, and the other unicorns return, Margaret's takes her small friend back to his family... but these two won't forget one another. And though Margaret misses him, she has made a new friend, and her new cottage is starting to feel like home. With all the feel of a classic, here is a picture book young readers will want to revisit again and again.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is probably the best picture book I've read all year, and the strongest unicorn book I've ever read.

Margaret has just moved with her parents to a small village to be near her grandmother. She's a bit lonely. When her parents suggest she explores, she witnesses a herd of unicorns galloping through the mist. Margaret is surprised to find that a little baby unicorn has been left behind. She takes him under her wing, and the two spend a magical winter together as they wait for spring--and the return of the other unicorns.

The story is simple and sweet, and the illustrations are just gorgeous. Light is used to great effect and highlights the sensory impressions of the changing seasons. The little unicorn is the traditional Scottish kind, with cloven hooves and tasselled tail. The setting of the story, in fact, looks decidedly Scottish, with its hills full of thistles and heather.

This is a definite must-read for unicorn lovers, as well as those looking for stories about magic, friendship, and adapting to a new home.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 5/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 5/5
Originality: 5/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.83 out of 5

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