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The Dragon and the Unicorn

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Valerio the dragon and Allegra the unicorn have always lived happily amid the majestic trees of the Ardet Forest, and in harmony with the animals that call the forest home. But one day Valerio discovers King Orlando cutting down trees to build a shelter. Only the king's young daughter, Arianna, seems sympathetic to the animals who are losing their homes. But can she save them all before it is too late?

Lynne Cherry lives on a farm in the ...

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Overview

Valerio the dragon and Allegra the unicorn have always lived happily amid the majestic trees of the Ardet Forest, and in harmony with the animals that call the forest home. But one day Valerio discovers King Orlando cutting down trees to build a shelter. Only the king's young daughter, Arianna, seems sympathetic to the animals who are losing their homes. But can she save them all before it is too late?

Lynne Cherry lives on a farm in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland.

Valerio the dragon and Allegra the unicorn are driven into hiding when humans begin to destroy the natural beauty of their land, but they receive hope when they befriend the daughter of the man responsible.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PW found that "lavish illustrations are the high point" of this eco-fable about a unicorn who befriends a princess and helps save an endangered forest. Ages 6-10. Aug.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lavish illustrations are the high point of this wordy eco-fable. In an ancient forest, Valerio the dragon and Allegra the unicorn live ``in harmony with the land and all the other creatures" until humans begin to chop down trees to build a castle for King Orlando. When the king's daughter, Arianna, wanders into their domain, the unicorn teaches her the "wisdom" contained in the forest. The child, reunited with her father, inspires him to ``learn to love and respect'' the forest, which is henceforth preserved. While the story is somewhat stiff, Cherry's The Armadillo from Amarillo luxuriant watercolors beckon the reader to share her romantic vision of wilderness. Small but sumptuous tableaux of mythical creatures in a medieval forest are set within splendid borders of lacy vines and Florentine-like patterns inspired by foliage. Entwined in these borders, cameos of characters, flora and fauna suggest the richness and complexity of the woodland, supplying a subtlety and lyricism missing from the text. Ages 6-10. Oct.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
In this fairy tale, a unicorn, dragon and an entire forest are threatened by the encroachment of man. It is only the Little Princess who seems to understand the threat. When she appears to be lost in the forest, the King ventures into the woods to find her. It is then that he begins to understand the need to preserve the forest for the good of future generations. Intricate borders with inset scenes surround the larger scene and text that fill every spread. The ecology message presented here is not particularly subtle; it is from an author who has written several great books on similar themes.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-In their efforts to prevent the king from destroying the Ardet Forest, Valerio the dragon and Allegra the unicorn befriend Princess Arianna and teach her about its value. The princess, in turn, shows her father the "...peace, silence and beauty...within the darkness of the forest." He decrees that the remaining trees will be preserved, and happiness and peace reign once again. The delicate, vibrant watercolor paintings are reminiscent of classic fairy-tale picture books where knights, misty woods, and mythical creatures abound. Soft shades of green dominate each detailed illustration; vines twist around the dozens of smaller sketches of animals and plants bordering each double-page spread. This is an obvious parable that lacks the lilting tone of Cherry's The Great Kapok Tree Harcourt, 1990 and is occasionally a bit heavy handed. On the whole, though, it is an enticing book that will please those looking for dragon and unicorn stories, as well as those on an ecological quest.Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY
Lauren Peterson
Cherry delivers another superb environmental story, this time in the form of a medieval fairy tale set in an ancient old-growth forest. Valerio the dragon and Allegra the unicorn watch with sadness as King Orlando and his men invade their sacred forest and cut down 600-year-old trees to build a fortress. It's to Orlando's compassionate young daughter, Princess Arianna, that Allegra and Valerio turn with their warning about the danger that comes from forest destruction. Painstaking research enabled Cherry to re-create the elaborate, richly detailed forest scenes, which she's surrounded by thumbnail close-ups of flora and fauna entwined in leafy borders. The breathtaking watercolors, dominated by forest green and royal gold tones, draw readers deep into the hushed and secret world. An essential purchase for elementary science collections, this compelling tale ensures Cherry's place as a leading author of environmental stories.
From the Publisher
Breathtaking. . . This compelling tale ensures Cherry's place as a leading author of environmental stories.—Booklist
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152241933
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/1/1995
  • Series: Gulliver Green Book Series
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.35 (w) x 11.28 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

LYNNE CHERRY has devoted her life to sharing her concern about environmental issues with others. Her important children's books also include The Armadillo from Amarillo and two tales from the Amazon rain forest: The Great Kapok Tree and The Shaman's Apprentice. She lives in Washington, D.C.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2002

    A book for all generations

    This is one of my favorite childrens books. The pictures in this book are wonderful and the story is excellent. This is a book I can read to my little sister.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2010

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