I Wished for a Unicorn

Overview

A spirited child sits alone in a dreary backyard wishing for a unicorn. Sure enough, one appears — he may be kind of scruffy, he's lost his horn and his neigh sounds more like a bark, but he's a unicorn all right. He leads the child through a wood filled with fantastic creatures. Together they storm a castle, defeat a dragon, vanquish an evil wizard and dig for buried treasure. I Wished for a Unicorn sparkles with the boundless optimism of childhood and the power of imagination. With lively, rhyming text and ...

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Overview

A spirited child sits alone in a dreary backyard wishing for a unicorn. Sure enough, one appears — he may be kind of scruffy, he's lost his horn and his neigh sounds more like a bark, but he's a unicorn all right. He leads the child through a wood filled with fantastic creatures. Together they storm a castle, defeat a dragon, vanquish an evil wizard and dig for buried treasure. I Wished for a Unicorn sparkles with the boundless optimism of childhood and the power of imagination. With lively, rhyming text and captivating illustrations, this book is proof that wishes can come true!

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Welcome back, rhyme! A Canadian school teacher shows us that verse is no curse in I Wished for A Unicorn. Author Robert Heidbreder is an accomplished storytelling poet, something as rare as a unicorn in today's forest of picture books. While American publishers seem squeamish about rhyming words, Canadian publisher Kids Can Press seems to know that rhyme is fun to read, hear and speak. As proof, consider even the title of the author's previous Kids Can title: Eenie Meenie Manitoba. In I Wished for a Unicorn, Heidbreder grants his protagonist's wish on the first page. But is this a true mythic beast? Or could this be the mistaken identify of the family dog? Heidbreder's main character is sold on the idea, despite the unicorn's scruffy appearance. Their backyard becomes a magical wood, with the unicorn leading the way. The playful gouache depictions are rendered by Kady MacDonald Denton. Her art has adorned more than 25 children's books. In Unicorn, Denton's illustrations conjure memories of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. And the unnamed main character cannot be identified as male or female. Credit Denton for not sticking "I" in a frilly dress or stereotypical "boy" clothes. The child is a child. That's all readers need to know to enjoy this poetic romp. Blushing adult readers be forewarned. Denton lets readers get up close and personal with an evil wizard. The wizard's robe is zapped away, and the nude nay-sayer streaks cheekily off the page. Even without giving this mysterious child wisher a name and gender, this offbeat blend of art and rhyme seems a perfect candidate for cartoon treatment. Dr. Suess would be pleased. 2000, Kids Can Press, $14.95. Ages 4 to 8.Reviewer: Thomas S. Owens — The Five Owls, May/June 2000 (Vol. 14 No. 5)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A child takes a flight of fancy when the family dog is transformed into a thinly disguised unicorn. The ensuing adventure takes the pair into a world filled with castles, monsters, dragons, and wizards. Exhausted, they fall asleep on the ground and awaken to find themselves home on the lawn. The youngster's imaginary romp is portrayed in clever, full-page pastel illustrations rendered in gouache. The picture of a naked evil wizard running away while the "unicorn" modestly covers its eyes is particularly amusing. The sparse, rhyming text works well as a read-aloud. The theme of this inventive story is reminiscent of Rafe Martin's Will's Mammoth (Putnam, 1989).-Sharon McNeil, Los Angeles County Office of Education Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550745573
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 12.00 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Heidbreder is an award-winning children's poet and author. His many books include I Wished for a Unicorn, Eenie Meenie Manitoba and Drumheller Dinosaur Dance. Robert spent thirty years as a primary school teacher and, in 2002, won the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Kady MacDonald Denton has illustrated numerous children's titles, including Before I Go to Sleep, 'Til All the Stars Have Fallen and A Child's Treasury of Nursery Rhymes, which won the Governor General's Award. She lives in Peterborough, Ontario.

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