Behold... the Unicorns!

Overview

0nce people believed in unicorns, legendary creatures that were said to have magical powers. Today these one-horned creatures still have a special power — the power to capture our imaginations.

Using careful research and spirited illustrations to explain the origins, mythology, and folklore of the unicorn, Gail Gibbons gets right to the heart of why these marvelous creatures are still so popular today.

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Overview

0nce people believed in unicorns, legendary creatures that were said to have magical powers. Today these one-horned creatures still have a special power — the power to capture our imaginations.

Using careful research and spirited illustrations to explain the origins, mythology, and folklore of the unicorn, Gail Gibbons gets right to the heart of why these marvelous creatures are still so popular today.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Gibbons has presented a factual account of animals with one horn or a growth that may look like a horn. She begins with the rhinoceros, which will likely be familiar to young readers. The narwhal, sometimes called a sea unicorn, has a long spiral shaped tusk extending from its head and may have been the inspiration for tales of unicorns. Ancient peoples believed that horns were powerful because they were used for protection, and an animal with one horn held twice as much power, making it magical. Legends of mythological unicorns and their supernatural powers are discussed. Unicorns continue to represent qualities that people value. They are gentle, brave, strong, kind and noble. Presented in picture book format, the abundant, full-color illustrations are an integral part of the factual information. 2002, HarperCollins, $15.95 and $15.89. Ages 10 to 16. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Unicorns are a source of endless fascination, and Gibbons provides a clear and concise explanation for their presence in the world's mythology and lore. She begins with the Latin origins of the term unicorn ("one horn") and relates this word to examples of other one-horned animals such as the rhinoceros and the narwhal. She then discusses the evolution of the unicorn as a fabulous creature possessing magical powers and provides numerous examples of its existence in the folklore from Persia, China, and India, as well as references in several of the world's religions including Judaism, Hinduism, and Christianity. A floral motif and fibrous handmade paper borders tie together the colorful watercolor-and-ink illustrations, which vary from fanciful to descriptive. Full-color reproductions of the seven famous medieval tapestries comprising "The Hunt of the Unicorn" series are included; unfortunately, their small size and mediocre quality detract from the power of the images presented. The book also suffers slightly from a formulaic format, concluding with a page of informational tidbits instead of incorporating them into the text. For young unicorn lovers who cannot get enough of these gentle and noble creatures, this book fills a factual gap, but those preferring their magical creatures straight up might just want to stick to the lore.-Teri Markson, Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School, Los Angeles Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
PLB: 0-688-17958-4 Gibbons follows up Behold... the Dragons! (1999) with this look at another class of creatures that "live around the edges of our imagination and in our legends." Probably spun free-form from travelers' tales of rhinos, oryxes, and similar exotic beasts, unicorns have been described and depicted in a wide variety of forms, from the romantically magnificent near-horse to legendary Risharinga, the otherwise-human horned son of a Hindu priest. Gibbons illustrates her characteristically terse text with a portrait gallery, done in typically simple style, and adds reproductions of the seven famed Unicorn Tapestries for a discussion of the unicorn as symbol. After recounting legends from India, China, the Middle East, and Europe, and noting that the Biblical "unicorn" was a mistranslation from the Hebrew, she finishes with a page of sundry historical notes dubbed "Unicorn Footprints." Children who enjoy skating the edges of their own imaginations but aren't quite ready to tackle Giblin's The Truth About Unicorns (1991) will pore over this primer. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688179588
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.38 (w) x 9.66 (h) x 0.36 (d)

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