- You Don’t Want a Unicorn! by Ame Dyckman
ISBN 978-0-316-34347-3 $16.99
Reviewed from galleys R 4-6 yrs
Your response to the title may have been disagreement, but you should trust the warning, just as the unnamed protagonist should have before tossing a coin into a wishing well. Unicorns seem cool but they turn out to be trouble: they shed, they burp rainbows, they chew everything, and they poop cupcakes. Worst of all, they need company, so you will soon find yourself with a whole blessing (technical unicorn term) of unicorns who all have these bad habits. Even our hero is in agreement by then, tossing a handful of coins into the same wishing well to poof away all of the unicorns (only to court more trouble by wishing for a dragon). The tone of the wry, bemused narrator is perfect, evoking the world-weariness of almost any adult who knows the work, effort, and repetitive tasks that go with having a pet. Bright, sugary illustrations, simple but clever lines with digital fill, are an ideal partner for the theme, though the unicorns still look pretty darn appealing in them. The climax of the story comes with a double-page spread that sums it all up: gaudy (in a eye-catching, good way) splashes of color, a wild unicorn party, a complete absence of adult supervision, a kid who’s lost all control of this situation, and three exclamation points. It’s that kind of book, and the target audience will likely be eager for a repeat listen so they can try to warn this kid off in vain, even while reveling in the disaster of it all.