Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Do You Believe in Unicorns?

Do You Believe in Unicorns?

Fall 2018 Picture Books
Ages: 3 - 7 yrs.
Author: Bethanie Deeney Murguia
Illustrator: Bethanie Deeney Murguia
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763694685
Hardcover Price: $14.99
Review:

Young children can having fun while exercising their reasoning skills as author-illustrator Bethanie Deeney Murguia (I Feel Five!, Cockatoo, Too, etc.) invites them to wonder just why a goofy white horse would wear a red top hat. Too keep the sun out of his eyes? Because it's his favorite color? Messy hair? It can't be because the horse is really a unicorn in disguise, can it? Murguia's illustrations (they appear to be pen-and-ink and watercolor) show the horse wandering far afield from his stable through different environments and back again, leaving it up to readers to decide. Even when the top hat comes off in the story, the answer is elusive, thanks to Murguia's eye-of-the-beholder visual touches: is that a unicorn's horn, or is it just the spire of a building, a mountain peak, or a blade of tall grass rising above the horse's head? A charmingly subtle detail: What looks like a little lizard peeping out of the stable window in the beginning of the book is revealed to be something rather different on the last page.

Lynne Heffley   ©2018 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat.


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