cover image A Unicorn Named Sparkle and the Pumpkin Monster

A Unicorn Named Sparkle and the Pumpkin Monster

Amy Young. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-30850-6

In Young’s fourth tale starring comically squat pet unicorn Sparkle, he and child Lucy visit a pumpkin farm on a day when “the air was crisp and Sparkle felt frisky.” He immediately acts on those feelings, trying to eat his way out of the corn maze and consuming multiple treats before realizing that he isn’t such a fan of the frightening. Sparkle’s hijinks kick into high gear after he and Lucy arrive home with selected pumpkins—he carves a “cheerful and happy” face on his, but she creates a scary grimace. Terrified, the unicorn runs away, his fear escalating at nightfall when he hears a wailing sound that he mistakenly assumes is a “pumpkin monster.” A rollicking escapade follows, and eventually a cozy reunion with Lucy that underlines Sparkle’s strengths. Young’s exuberant illustrations chronicle the unicorn’s misadventures with abundant humor and heart—illuminating the two pals’ endearing mutual affection. Ages 2–6. (July)