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Where Have the Unicorns Gone?

Overview

Long ago unicorns lived in a haven of sun-dappled glades and flower-filled dells. But as civilization spread over the ages — with its fierce knights, its chugging trains, its thick smogs — unicorns had to find a new sanctuary. But where?
Jane Yolen finds a magical answer in the traditional unicorn myth. Her rhythmic, rhymed text is irresistible to read aloud. And Ruth Sanderson's brilliant artwork gives unicorns a bold reality in everything from ancient cave paintings to their ...

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Overview

Long ago unicorns lived in a haven of sun-dappled glades and flower-filled dells. But as civilization spread over the ages — with its fierce knights, its chugging trains, its thick smogs — unicorns had to find a new sanctuary. But where?
Jane Yolen finds a magical answer in the traditional unicorn myth. Her rhythmic, rhymed text is irresistible to read aloud. And Ruth Sanderson's brilliant artwork gives unicorns a bold reality in everything from ancient cave paintings to their secret, present-day home. After reading this tribute to the mystical, mysterious unicorn, children will enjoy looking for these elusive creatures in the world around them.

The unicorns flee from the noise, violence, and destruction of civilization and find refuge in the sea.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
School Library Journal The poem roll[s] pleasantly off the tongue.
Children's Literature
Yolen's answer to the title question is given in rhymed verses that trace the escape of the mythic creatures from pursuit by knights and from the noise, congestion, and pollution of today. They always run to water, for which they have a legendary affinity. Their racing and galloping is described with vivid imagery. The conclusion brings us back to the sea, where perhaps we may see their traces when the moon is full, "in the moment that separates nighttime and dawn." Sanderson sets the poetic text in large double-page, naturalistic scenes that parallel the emotional surges. She supplies visual, interpretive details barely suggested by the few words. The white unicorns are in every scene in a variety of poses¾loving portraits that are convincing in their admiration of the unicorns power and sensitive majesty. 2000, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $16.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-A purposeful poem poses the question and gives its own answers in words and pictures. The unicorns have fled and disappeared into the sea before the worst aspects of civilization-war, deforestation, industrialization, and overpopulation-threaten their existence. The poem reads aloud well. The onomatopoeic descriptions ("clacketing mills" and "chuggering trains") and alliterative phrases ("ribbon-rolled river" and "perfect peace of ponds") roll pleasantly off the tongue. However, some of the language, e.g., "Routed by gouts of iron-red flames" and "the cataphonetics of city and town," seems rhetorically ornate. The illustrator's extravagant, romanticized double-page spreads are as grandiose as the poetry, using a complex method of layering oils on gessoed Masonite panels, sometimes textured with pumice gel and modeling paste. Overall, there is no real plot and what strives to be inspiring seems ultimately pretentious. Marianna Mayer's The Unicorn and the Lake (Dial, 1982; o.p.) is more touching and compelling and Michael Hague's unicorns are more powerfully rendered.-Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Old Greenwich, CT Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689863592
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 12/2/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 713,525
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.98 (w) x 10.06 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen is an award-winning author who has written more than 200 books for children, including the bestseller How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? and the 1988 Caldecott Medal winner Owl Moon. She is known for her beautiful poetry and has even been called “the Hans Christian Anderson of America” (Newsweek). Jane Yolen lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts. Visit her at JaneYolen.com.

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