The just-announced, limited-edition Unicorn Frappuccino from Starbucks may not be long for this world, but after that tremendously pink, Lisa Frank–worthy “big ole sugar bomb” vanishes like so many mythical creatures, there will still be plenty of children’s books left to fill the void. Here, we gather up some recent and forthcoming books about those most magical of magical beings.
(And: a shout-out to some of the unicorn books that paved the way for this new herd, including Dallas Clayton’s Lily the Unicorn, Bob Shea’s Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great, Platte F. Clark’s Bad Unicorn trilogy, Jessica Burkhart’s Unicorn Magic series, Diana Peterfreund’s Killer Unicorn series, and—of course—Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier’s Zombies vs. Unicorns collection.)
Uni the Unicorn and the Dream Come True
Uni—a unicorn who just knows that little girls are real—burst on the scene in 2014’s Uni the Unicorn, and she returns later this year. In this sequel from the late author, Uni needs help from the girl who appeared in the first book to help save the Land of Unicorns.
A New Friend for Sparkle
In Young’s 2016 picture book, A Unicorn Named Sparkle, a girl named Lucy sends away for a mail-order unicorn, but the specimen that arrives looks, well, more like a goat. With that hurdle surmounted, Lucy and Sparkle tackle the challenge of adding a third friend in a follow-up book out this summer.
You Don’t Want a Unicorn!
Children (or adults) who are desperate for a unicorn of their own probably haven’t thought through all of the downsides. That’s the premise of Dyckman and Climo’s cautionary tale, which reminds readers of the pitfalls of getting too close to these furniture-slashing, rainbow-belching, cupcake-pooping menaces.
Thelma the Unicorn
Moving on from selfish pugs (Pig the Pug) and “bad” animals trying to change their stripes (the Bad Guys series), Blabey introduces a horse named Thelma who dreams of being a unicorn. But when that wish comes true, the results aren’t all sunshine, sparkles and rainbows.
I Am a Unicorn!
Speaking of wish fulfillment, Schuett’s picture book stars Frog, who believes he’s not an amphibian but a unicorn. And with a homemade horn and a jar of Magical Unicorn Sprinkles, Frog won’t be told otherwise, no matter what his cranky friend Goat has to say.
The Unicorn in the Barn
Picture book author Ogburn (Little Treasures: Endearments from Around the World, among other titles) moves into middle grade with the story of a boy named Eric, who discovers that the mysterious white deer sometimes seen in the woods around his home isn’t a deer at all.
Simpson’s Phoebe and Her Unicorn series of middle grade comics has been going strong since the first book was published back in 2014. This fifth entry features adventures that involve everything from Halloween parties to snow days, and two more books will follow later this year: Rainy Day Unicorn Fun, an activity book due in September, and Phoebe and Her Unicorn in the Magic Storm, out in October.
Not Quite Narwhal
Unicorns aren’t the only creatures with horns out there, so it’s completely understandable that Kelp, the star of Sima’s recent debut picture book, assumes that he is a narwhal. He was raised underwater, after all. But could he actually be a “land narwhal,” aka a unicorn?
Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea
Ok, there’s no identity crisis in Clanton’s trio of comics: Narwhal knows that he’s a narwhal—and not a unicorn—even if his new friend Jelly is less sure, having never met a narwhal. Narwhal and Jelly’s story continues in Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt, out in May, in which the two devise superhero alter egos but have a bit more trouble determining their actual superpowers.