Reading/Interest Level: Preschool
Author: Amy Young
Publisher: Garrard, Straus, and Giroux
When she sees an ad for a unicorn for only fifty cents, Lucy immediately decided to purchase her very own unicorn. She has lots of expectations for what her new friend will be like. Her plans for her unicorn, who she names Sparkle, are crushed when Sparkle arrives and is nothing like what she hoped for. Sparkle eats things he's not supposed to, he smells funny, and he doesn't even look like how she expected him to. Lucy decides that she's going to return him, but when he needs her she realizes that she loves him for who he is and not who she wanted him to be.
At first glance, the story may be a disappointment to some readers when they realize that Sparkle is just a goat and nothing more in spite of Lucy's protests otherwise, but the book is still full of charm and teaches that we should love others for who they are and not what we expect them to be. Lucy shows a lot of patience toward Sparkle, and in the end decides not to give up on her new friend. The illustrations are soft and colorful, making it still look like a story about unicorns even though the reader soon learns that it is not. This book can also reach young readers about the responsibility of caring for pets even when they misbehave. Fans of unicorns and friendship will enjoy this sweet story.