The Christmas Unicorn by Anna Currey

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The Christmas Unicorn by Anna Currey

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A superbly illustrated book with the feel good factor which will delight any little girl in the run up to Christmas. Recommended by the Bookbag.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: October 2007
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 978-0192791856

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Despite the fact that Christmas is only a few days away, Milly is feeling a little gloomy. She and her mother have gone to stay with Grandpa who would have been lonely if they hadn't come. Her father is away too, but he's promised to come just as soon as he can. Mum tucked her in and told her to sleep tight, but Milly knelt at the end of her bed and looked out over the snowy fields.

From the edge of the forest an owl, a fox and a unicorn looked out at the little town with all its brightly coloured lights. The unicorn wanted to know what they were for. Fox told him that they were for Christmas and the unicorn went off to the town to investigate. All the gates were tightly shut except for one and the unicorn nosed it open and went inside. Milly looked down when she heard the gate open and went down stairs and let the unicorn into the house.

Normally this story would be too saccharine for me, but if there's one time in the year when there should be a little magic around then it's Christmas. It's the Christmas of nostalgia too, without a television set or a computer game in sight. Grandpa lives in an old cottage, with wooden floors and you half suspect that there's no central heating when you realise that the old man seems to be permanently wrapped in a muffler. He's not in the least put out at finding a unicorn in the house, politely offering him breakfast and doing no more than suggest a napkin when most of the food disappears from the table.

The illustrations in this book are superb. Gentle watercolours in subdued tones really add to the storyline. The facial expressions are wonderful, from Grandpa's complete lack of surprise at finding a unicorn at his breakfast table, to Milly's worry when it goes missing at the Christmas market. Even Florian the unicorn has some wonderful expressions - wonderment at the Christmas decorations, delight at the taste of the Christmas tree and confusion when he gets tangled in the paper chains. I've read the book several times now and there's been something new to smile at on each reading.

It's a simple story of a young girl at a low ebb who is given a little piece of magic to lift her through. The unicorn brings fun, a new friend to play with and something special at the house when they all arrive home from the Christmas market. The story is a delight to read with gentle humour that will be appreciated by child and adult alike:

They unpacked Christmas balls, and paper chains, and fairy lights, and Florian stamped on all the boxes to make sure nothing could get back in.

For a new reader there are a few words which might require help, but generally the context and the illustrations will provide sufficient guidance. It's a story that will appeal far more to girls than to boys and most children would have outgrown it long before Christmas came round again, but as a special treat I would think it a good investment. It's a book that oozes the feel-good factor.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending this book to the Bookbag.

For another Christmas book but in a rather different style, you might like to look at Olivia helps with Christmas by Ian Falconer.

Buy The Christmas Unicorn by Anna Currey at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Christmas Unicorn by Anna Currey at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Christmas Unicorn by Anna Currey at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Christmas Unicorn by Anna Currey at Amazon.com.


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Magda said:

I thought of buying it from Katie's school distributed bookclub last year, and was put off, but now I think she'll probably really like it! Better that the magic kitten.