For the past few months, the children in my library club have been obsessed with unicorns. They seek out pony books in the library in the hope that they reference unicorns, and there is a waiting list for the few unicorn books we do stock. The trend sees no sign of waning at the moment. So, on this National Unicorn Day I have great pleasure in bringing you news of two new unicorn books. Once Upon a Unicorn Horn by Beatrice Blue explains how this very special creature obtained its horn, in a picture book story about friendship and perseverance. With just the right level of cute without being saccharine, and an endearing amount of magical thinking, the little girl in the book, June, and her parents come up with a solution to help a tiny horse to fly.
I’m delighted to host author Beatrice Blue discussing “who we are and how we choose to be”.
This is what Once Upon a Unicorn cherishes. It is the first title in a new picture book series about how magical creatures came to have their special features.
Do you happen to know how unicorns got their horns?
It all began one day when a little girl called June found some tiny horses learning how to fly in her garden, but one of them was very sad because he couldn’t. Little June found a very fun and sweet way to make her friend fly!
One of my main goals in Once Upon a Unicorn Horn was to make a book where the child’s point of view is the most important. To treasure childhood and to focus on feelings, discovery and self acknowledgement. And above all, fun.
Most books about unicorns I’ve seen are pink or jumpy, bubbly pony happiness and rainbow related. This is fun, but I wanted to show the importance of the magical creature and human values.
As a child, I wanted to be like Merlin, Hermione Granger, Dumbledore, Matilda and so many other great magicians. As much as I tried moving things with my mind, whispering spells from ancient books or swooshing wands that my dad carved for me out of shoe holders, I could never find my magic.
Eventually, I realised that I had magic inside me all along. I didn’t need to become anybody else. I was making it happen day by day.
Children don´t need to be anybody else but themselves. They might need encouragement to believe in themselves and to use their imagination, but they can make us see the world from an entirely new perspective; and this book celebrates that.
We can enjoy our surroundings and find magic even in the tiniest of things. And bring unicorns to life with the tiniest gestures.
Once Upon a Unicorn Horn embraces the present and the choices we make, and shows us that it is possible to make the most out of every situation. Sometimes mistakes or accidents create startling surprises and wonderful opportunities. That’s magic!
With huge thanks to author and illustrator Beatrice Blue for explaining her reasons for writing Once Upon a Unicorn Horn, which you can buy here.
The second unicorn book is The Secret Lives of Unicorns by Dr Temisa Seraphini and Sophie Robin. This is an encyclopedic volume of unicorn knowledge, exploring anatomy, evolution, life cycle and magical properties. In a fantastical book of pseudo-nonfiction, Dr Seraphini looks at different unicorn species from around the world. Presented as if they were real, there are taxonomy charts, references to unicorns from different eras on a timeline, and illustrations to match, including a height chart, dissection of flight, and even a page on famous unicornologists. You can discover the different species, from winged, to mountain, to volcanic unicorns, and read how best to interact with unicorns, looking closely at the illustrated facial expressions.
Illustrated in muted tones of orange, green and blue, this guide will delight unicorn fans, whilst also showing them how a nonfiction book functions, and is a comprehensive study of how a fantasy world can be constructed. You can buy it here.