cover image The Truth about Unicorns

The Truth about Unicorns

James Cross Giblin. HarperCollins Publishers, $15 (113pp) ISBN 978-0-06-022478-3

Giblin's ( Chimney Sweeps ; The Truth About Santa Claus ) meticulously researched text examines the historical, mythical, religious and physical significance of the unicorn. He describes unicornlike creatures that have existed through the ages, beginning with a ``dinosaur unicorn'' that lived 120 million years ago. Also documented is the appearance of unicorns in writings by Greeks and Romans, tales from ancient China and the accounts of Marco Polo and other European explorers. An insert of color photos accompanies a detailed interpretation of the renowned Franco-Flemish Unicorn tapestries. Finally, Giblin examines some contemporary ``unicorns,'' from a goat with a transplanted horn featured in the 1985 Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus to the endangered Indian rhino. McDermott's carefully rendered, dramatic drawings complement the volume's many intriguing prints and photos. Through somewhat heavy going for the casual reader, this fact- and legend-filled book will be of great interest to youngsters fascinated by the elusive unicorn. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)