Uni The Unicorn (Amy Krouse Rosenthal)


Hello, friends! Today, we read Uni The Unicorn, written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Brigette Barrager, the story of a unicorn, a girl, and belief.

Uni the unicorn is like all the other unicorns: flowing mane, twinkling purple eyes, magical powers. But there is one thing that makes Uni different: she believes in little girls. All the other unicorns mock her, but Uni just knows that there is a special little girl out there. A little girl who, like her, looks to the night sky and dreams of a special friend.

Oh, boy. This is a pretty popular book, so I’m going to get some people who disagree, but we didn’t love it. There is some gorgeously colorful art, flipping the trope and having a unicorn believe in people was cool, and the length is good, but for positives, that was it for us.

In the meantime, the book lacks a satisfying conclusion. It bills itself as “A Story About Believing,” so I can understand why the author chose to never have Uni and her friend meet, but it’s a choice that ends the story rather abruptly. Furthermore, the book is EXTREMELY gendered. Uni believes in little girls, and only little girls. Apparently, little boys and unicorns are not meant to have special friendships. And, uncomfortably, Uni only seems to believe in little WHITE girls. Her dream friend is blonde and blue-eyed, and all the drawings of little girls that Uni makes or looks at in books are light-skinned. In fact, the only time children of color make an appearance is as villains, taunting the little girl for believing in unicorns. So as far as gender and race representation, this one misses the mark, to say the least.

We had heard good things about this book and were looking forward to it, but it honestly just left me underwhelmed and slightly troubled. Even JJ didn’t seem very interested beyond our initial read-through. If you have a daughter who loves unicorns (and, again, ONLY a daughter), this could be a fun read, but otherwise, not one we would recommend.

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