A book list featuring must-read stories about unicorns.
The Children’s Book Review
Celebrate Unicorn Day with Magical Books About … Unicorns
What is it about unicorns? Why do we love them so? Is it the familiarity of their horse bodies that draws us in to feel as if we know them as companions? With just the add-on of a mythical horn (a few sparkles and possibly a rainbow mane), suddenly a familiar and friendly animal is elevated to majestic and magical … an imaginary and legendary creature that seems as though it really could exist. The idea of a unicorn feels both safe and fantastical!
To celebrate Unicorn Day (and every other day a little magic is required), here are some of our favorite books about these splendid icons of wonder …
Written and Illustrated by Amy Young
Publisher’s Synopsis: When Lucy sees an ad in the newspaper for a unicorn, she sends in her twenty-five cents and waits four to six long weeks for her very own unicorn to arrive. She imagines the flowers that she’ll braid into his beautiful pink mane, and she even picks the perfect name for him: Sparkle. But when Sparkle arrives, his ears are too long, his horn is too short, he smells funny–and oh, he has fleas. Lucy isn’t pleased, but in the end she warms up to Sparkle and realizes that even though he wasn’t exactly the unicorn she wanted, he might be just the one she needs.
Ages 2-6 | Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux | September 11, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0374308728
Written and Illustrated by Bob Shea
Publisher’s Synopsis: Ever since Unicorn moved into the neighborhood, Goat has been feeling out of sorts. Goat thought his bike was cool-until he saw that Unicorn could fly to school! Goat made marshmallow squares that almost came out right, but Unicorn made it rain cupcakes! Unicorn is such a show-off, how can Goat compete? When Goat and Unicorn share a piece of pizza, Goat learns that being a unicorn might not be all it’s cracked up to be. And when Unicorn shows his admiration for Goat, it looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Ages 2-6 | Publisher: Disney-Hyperion | June 25, 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-1423159520
Written and Illustrated by Joyce Wan
Publisher’s Synopsis: Sparkle and dazzle wherever you go. You’re more amazing than you know!
Do you believe in magic? With Joyce Wan, the sky’s the limit in this delightful, encouraging storybook featuring a lovable unicorn and an even more loving message of hope, persistence, and heart. And at the end of the story you can’t help but snuggle up with your own magical unicorn to remind them that “Baby, I believe in you!”
A wondrous celebration of the magical spark in every child from today’s preeminent board and picture book creator!
Ages 3-5 | Publisher: Cartwheel Books | December 26, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1338334104
Written and Illustrated by Aaron Blabey
Publisher’s Synopsis: Thelma dreams of being a glamorous unicorn. Then in a rare pink and glitter-filled moment of fate, Thelma’s wish comes true.
She rises to instant international stardom, but at an unexpected cost. After a while, Thelma realizes that she was happier as her ordinary, sparkle-free self. So she ditches her horn, scrubs off her sparkles, and returns home, where her best friend is waiting for her with a hug.
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Scholastic Press | October 31, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1338158427
Written and Illustrated by Jessie Sima
Publisher’s Synopsis: In the tradition of Uni the Unicorn and Gaston, this heartwarming and adorable debut picture book tells the story of a young unicorn who was born under the sea to a family of narwhals.
Growing up in the ocean, Kelp has always assumed that he was a narwhal like the rest of his family. Sure, he’s always been a little bit different—his tusk isn’t as long, he’s not as good of a swimmer, and he really doesn’t enjoy the cuisine. Then one night, an extra strong current sweeps Kelp to the surface, where he spots a mysterious creature that looks just like him! Kelp discovers that he and the creature are actually unicorns. The revelation leaves him torn: is he a land narwhal or a sea unicorn? But perhaps, if Kelp is clever, he may find a way to have the best of both worlds.
Told with heartwarming illustrations and spare, sweet text, Jessie Sima’s debut picture book is about fitting in, standing out, and the all-encompassing love of family.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | February 14, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1481469098
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrated by Brigette Barrager
Publisher’s Synopsis: The New York Times bestselling story of friendship, unicorns, and the power of believing is now available as a board book!
Uni is just like all the other unicorns . . . except for one thing: she believes that little girls are REAL. This magical story by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (author of I Wish You More) illuminates Uni’s not-so-fantastical dream and celebrates the sparkle of believing. This charming board book edition will allow the youngest readers to slide down glorious friendship rainbows alongside Uni and the little girl in whom she believes so very much. Be sure to look for the enchanting sequel, Uni the Unicorn and the Dream Come True,available as a hardcover picture book!
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers | August 26, 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-0385375559
Written by Ame Dyckman
Illustrated by Liz Climo
Publisher’s Synopsis: Be careful what pet you wish for in the newest picture book from fan-favorite author Ame Dyckman and rising-star illustrator Liz Climo.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | February 14, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0316343473
Written and Illustrated by Dana Simpson
Publisher’s Synopsis: A boy and his dog . . . a girl and her . . . unicorn?
It all started when a girl named Phoebe skipped a rock across a pond and accidentally hit a unicorn in the face. Improbably, this led to Phoebe being granted one wish, and she used it to make the unicorn, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, her obligational best friend. But can a vain mythical beast and a nine-year-old daydreamer really forge a connection? Indeed they can, and that’s how Phoebe and Her Unicornunfolds.
This beautifully drawn comic strip follows the unlikely friendship between a somewhat awkward girl and the magic unicorn who gradually shows her just how special she really is. Through hilarious adventures where Phoebe gets to bask in Marigold’s “awesomeness,” the friends also come to acknowledge that they had been lonely before they met and truly appreciate the bond they now share.
Ages 7-10 | Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing | September 2, 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-1449446208
Publisher’s Synopsis: A vibrantly illustrated official guide to everything unicorn-related, from the Magical Unicorn Society.
After centuries of mystery, the mythical Magical Unicorn Society has published its official handbook.
These learned lovers of unicorns have created a veritable treasure trove of unicorn lore―the facts, the fiction, the where, why and what of these elusive creatures. Discover where unicorns really live around the world, how to find them, and what they eat Learn how to look after them, what powers they have, how to tempt them, train them, and even ride them, and so much more.
With breathtaking artwork from Helen Dardik and Harry and Zanna Goldhawk, this special book is the ultimate gift for true believers.
Ages 8-11 | Publisher: Feiwel & Friends | September 18, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1250206190
Written by Kamilla Benko
Publisher’s Synopsis: Claire Martinson still worries about her older sister Sophie, who battled a mysterious illness last year. But things are back to normal as they move into Windermere Manor… until the sisters climb a strange ladder in a fireplace and enter the magical land of Arden.
There, they find a world in turmoil. The four guilds of magic no longer trust each other. The beloved unicorns have gone, and terrible wraiths roam freely. Scared, the girls return home. But when Sophie vanishes, it will take all of Claire’s courage to climb back up the ladder, find her sister, and uncover the unicorns’ greatest secret.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens | February 6, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1681192451
And a special mention for llamacorns …
Written by Random House
Illustrated by Prisca Le Tandé
Publisher’s Synopsis: The cutest half-unicorn half-llama you can possibly imagine comes to life in this rainbow-colored confection of a board book!
Do you love llamas? How about unicorns? Now imagine if you smushed them together and added a zillion rainbows, glitter, and some magic! You’d get a whole new best friend in the shape of…a LLAMACORN!
Llamacorns are fleecy, sparkly creatures that are full of love and kindness, and can make all your dreams come true. In this rhyming board book, a die-cut heart shines a new color of the rainbow on every page! Kids and adults will giggle and swoon over this fantastical creature, deliciously rendered in bold jewel tones.
Ages 2-5 | Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers | June 4, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-0593122068
The article 10 Enchanting Kids Books About Unicorns was curated by Bianca Schulze. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Unicorns.