If I Had a Unicorn

Thames & Hudson. Sept. 2020. 32p. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9780500652268.
Toddler-PreS–The team who produced If I Had a Dinosaur and If I Had a Sleepy Sloth are back, and this time the unusual pet is a unicorn. The dark-skinned, curly haired protagonist rhapsodizes about the wonderful things her unicorn could do, and how she would care for it. The rhyming text scans well enough, but it is full of saccharine tropes and lacks originality. The illustrations are integral to the story, as the opening spread has the text interlaced with the pictures in a clunky, hard-to-read rebus style. In later spreads they depict the unicorn magically neatening a room, growing a beautiful garden and producing rainbow-colored excrement. There really isn’t much story here as much as a laundry list of the wonderful things the girl’s unicorn would do. The naive, graphically cartoonish illustrations are brightly colored with lots of motion on solid white backgrounds.
VERDICT Only libraries with a huge demand for unicorn books, or collections where the other books are popular may want to consider this.

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