A Unicorn Named Sparkle’s First Christmas (Amy Young)

Hello, friends! Our book today is A Unicorn Named Sparkle’s First Christmas by Amy Young, the third installment of the delightful series about Lucy and her pet “unicorn”.

Lucy and Sparkle the unicorn (established in previous books as a one-horned goat) are preparing for their first Christmas together. Lucy explains the finer points of gift-giving, ties Sparkle’s allowance around his neck, then the friends head to the shops. Lucy points out her favorite toy shop, then heads into the Unicorn Store to buy some treats for her pal (Sparkle, who doesn’t have the slightest idea of what he’s expected to do, gets distracted making friends with some birds). After, Lucy senses a few red flags in Sparkle’s lack of packages or presents under the tree, but she trusts her friend. Unfortunately, when the big day comes, Lucy finds that her friend – being a goat – did not get her anything. And when Sparkle then knocks down the trees and eats the stockings, Lucy loses her temper and yells at him. Confused and hurt, Sparkle beings to cry, and Lucy instantly regrets her words. Making amends, she reassures her friend and sets the tree upright… only then noticing a small box she hadn’t seen before.

Delightful. These stories always center around friendship, and this one added a lovely amount of holiday flair (the friends bake cookies, build a snow man, etc). There’s also a nice lesson in the true meaning of the holidays (hint: it’s not presents). I was a little surprised to see that Sparkle seemed to have a little more magical unicorn-ness than previous installments, but as it fits the story so perfectly, well… ‘tis the season for magic anyway. The art is adorable and festive, the length is great, and JJ loved it. A must for fans of the series, or a lovely holiday story to introduce them to it. Baby Bookworm approved!

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

A Unicorn Named Sparkle (Amy Young)

Hello, friends! Today’s book is A Unicorn Named Sparkle by Amy Young, a silly yet sweet story of friendship, responsibility, and the bond between a girl and her unicorn.

Lucy finds the advertisement – 25¢ for a unicorn – and dashes off to mail in her quarter. While she waits for her new friend to arrive, she decides to name him Sparkle, and plans all the amazing things they’ll do: going for rides, braiding his pink mane, and taking him to show and tell. But when Sparkle arrives, he’s not quite what Lucy had imagined. He’s smaller, for one; he smells and has fleas for another. He won’t let her ride him, and he eats the flowers and tutu she puts on him. Frustrated, she decides to send her troublesome pet back… but will she have the heart to say goodbye?

This was a great little story! It’s a funny tale on the surface (Sparkle is, quite obviously, a goat), but it carries a great message about pet ownership and friendship in general: when Sparkle doesn’t live up to Lucy’s idealization of a “unicorn,” she is quick to dismiss him. However, after forming a bond with him, finding the things she likes about him, and ultimately seeing how broken-hearted he is to be sent away, she realizes that even though he’s not perfect, Sparkle loves her and she loves him. It’s a great metaphor about being a good friend despite imperfections, and being responsible for creatures you’ve promised to care for, and I loved it. The illustrations are charming and funny, the length is great, and JJ adored it. All in all a winner, especially for those who would enjoy a different sort of unicorn story. Baby Bookworm approved!