cover image Unicorn Dreams

Unicorn Dreams

Dyan Sheldon, Neil Reed. Dial Books, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-2284-2

The cart comes before the unicorn in this message-driven tale, a lackluster ode to imagination. At school, Dan spies a unicorn out of the window. His teacher accuses him of daydreaming and the other children laugh and label him Dreamy Dan. More sightings and skepticism follow, but when his teacher asks for stories one day, Dan regales his classmates with tales of his unicorn, and ""now all the children could see Dan's unicorn... Dan followed the unicorn... and the rest of the class followed Dan."" Here Reed (Something for James) shows the class literally following the unicorn into a field. The metaphor will likely be lost on (and confusing to) the target audience, and since there is no plot beyond the moral, this book has little to offer except Reed's light-filled watercolors, reminiscent of Barry Moser. His realism is the ideal ironic foil to the unicorn visitations, but even his skills cannot overcome the equally (if unintentionally) ironic lack of imagination in the story line. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)