Hello, friends! Our book today is Manolo and the Unicorn, written by Jackie Azúa Kramer and Jonah Kramer, and illustrated by Zach Manbeck, a gorgeous story of magic, belief, and being true to oneself.
Manolo believes in the magic that surrounds us, and that the world is full of mystery and wonder. He adores nature and creatures, and longs to one day meet his favorite animal: a unicorn. The young boy is positively enchanted by their wild grace and mystique, and when he and his fellow students are called to share information on, and don a costume of, their favorite animal in the next day’s Wild Animal Parade, Manolo proudly announces that he will be a unicorn. In response, several students snicker while informing their peer that not only are boys not supposed to like unicorns, such creatures don’t actually exist. Disillusioned, Manolo feels as though the world is entirely less magical… that is, until an unexpected visitor arrives to lead him on a journey of discovery.
Lovely. The mother-and-son author duo of Jackie and Jonah Kramer tell an understated yet rich tale of finding (and making) magic in a cynical world. Manolo is a fantastic character that many kids will see themselves in, but particularly those who are drawn to gender-nonconformity; once his belief in the magic of unicorns is restored, Manolo is utterly comfortable expressing his love of them in a costume of flowers, sparkles, and heeled boots. Manbeck’s lush, greenery-heavy illustrations complete the package perfectly, creating a natural wonderland that will leave readers as spellbound as Manolo’s classmates. The length is perfect for storytime, and JJ and I both adored this one. Emphatically Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)