The Unicorn Came To Dinner (Lauren DeStefano)

Hello, friends! Our book today is The Unicorn Came To Dinner, written by Lauren DeStefano and illustrated by Gaia Cornwall, the story of a fantastical – and rather rude – houseguest.

For the fourth time this week, the unicorn has come to Elizabeth’s house, in Elizabeth’s place. When the girl’s parents inquire where Elizabeth might be, the unicorn simply replies, “Neigh. Neigh!” (this is unicorn talk for “I ate her”; Elizabeth’s parents seem understanding of this). Grumpy, ill-mannered, and easily-frustrated, the ungainly creature is rude at the dinner table, messy throughout bathtime, and even settles in for bedtime with a chip still on its shoulder. Elizabeth’s exceedingly patient parents check in on the unicorn; Dad mentions that the first week of school can be pretty scary, and wonders if that’s the reason the Unicorn has been such a frequent guest…

Cute, if a little uneven. The well-foreshadowed reveal, that “the unicorn” is an imaginary character that Elizabeth embodies when she is feeling upset, is a familiar one for many little ones and their adult caregivers. Indeed, the moments of parental perspective in this one are genuinely funny and sympathetic, particularly when Mom must silently count to five as the unicorn splashes half the water out of the bathtub. However, this is equally frustrating when some of the unicorn’s genuinely bad behavior is allowed to occur without – even gentle – reproach. The illustrations are colorful, but can get a little chaotic due to the plethora of tight patterns, especially when the Unicorn appears multiple times across a spread. The length was fine for a storytime, and JJ seemed to enjoy it throughout. Overall, a fun read with some cute moments, if not much else. Still, Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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