Margaret’s Unicorn is a cute story about a young girl who misses her old home after she and her parents move to be closer to her grandmother. The end. Oh wait, there is a unicorn too. This is a special friend she makes that helps make the move a little easier. Therefore, all the parts of a moving story are there (new house, new smells, new spaces, new emotions, and new friend). Briony May Smith’s story is exactly what you would expect it to be by the cover and the theme. It is their delightfully adorable illustrations that make this story more… well more.
The feeling of the story is Ireland/Scotland countryside. That old world, magical feeling is there. The illustrations, text and tone all scream “Old World Setting.” Those illustrations are colorful, but not overly popping off the page. They are cool to the eye. They are pleasant and somber. The illustrations are artwork and fit perfectly with the text and theme. A lot is going on, and everything you see is there for a reason, helping it come alive.
The only real issue I had is if the unicorn was real or not. I was willing to believe either way, it is that I was looking for a concrete answer. However, in the end, I do think it is up to you the reader to decide. One of my favorite parts of the story is when Margaret takes the unicorn home, her grandmother just accepts it and helps her feed it (but then again, grandparents tend to be more understanding of real magical friends or imaginary friends). Her parents later are accepting as well. This made me think that the unicorn was an imaginary friend.
It is a longer than a traditional picture book and less traditional action, but all ages can enjoy.