The most unusual unicorn books

Jess Hernandez Author Of First Day of Unicorn School
By Jess Hernandez

Who am I?

No one would ever describe me as a unicorn. I’m not graceful. My mane of hair is half an inch long. And I rarely (if ever) prance. I’m a donkey in a party hat and that’s perfectly okay with me. But sometimes it can be kinda rough in a world that tells you that you must be gorgeous instead of goofy, fabulous instead of funny. So I love stories that make me feel a little less alone in my awkwardness – that remind me that all of us, from the most beautiful unicorn to the weirdest little goblin, are not quite what they seem.  

I wrote...

First Day of Unicorn School

By Jess Hernandez, Mariano Epelbaum (illustrator),

Book cover of First Day of Unicorn School

What is my book about?

Milly is incredibly excited to go to Unicorn School, a school that accepts only the best and the brightest. There's only one problem: she isn't a unicorn! She's a donkey in a party hat. Milly first feels uncomfortable but eventually learns that she and the others at the school have more in common than it might have seemed.

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The books I picked & why

You Don't Want a Unicorn!

By Ame Dyckman, Liz Climo (illustrator),

Book cover of You Don't Want a Unicorn!

Why did I love this book?

An unsuspecting little boy wishes for a unicorn, only to discover that magical pet ownership isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Unicorns leave holes in the ceiling and piles of (cupcake) poo on the floor. And don’t even mention the shedding! Both Ame Dyckman and Liz Climo are hilarious on their own, but as an author/illustrator team, they’re an absolute hoot!

By Ame Dyckman, Liz Climo (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked You Don't Want a Unicorn! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Be careful what pet you wish for in the newest picture book from fan-favorite author Ame Dyckman and rising-star illustrator Liz Climo.
When a little boy throws a coin in a well asking for a pet unicorn, he has no idea what kind of trouble he's in for. Unbeknownst to him, unicorns make the absolutely worst pets: they shed, they poke holes in your ceiling, and they make a big mess. With a knowing wink from Ame Dykeman, creator of Wolfie the Bunny and cheerful illustrations from Rory the Dinosaur creator and Tumblr star Liz Climo, this rollicking story shares…

Book cover of Kevin the Unicorn: It's Not All Rainbows

Why did I love this book?

Kevin the Unicorn is having a disastrous, non-magical, totally not-sparkly day. And you know what? That’s okay. Uber-talented author/illustrator Jessika von Innerebner’s vibrant illustrations and sparkling prose are a delight. The book gives a playful plug for authenticity in a world where perceptions of people are too often filtered, edited, or curated.

By Jessika Von Innerebner,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Kevin the Unicorn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Everyone knows that unicorns are perfect. They are glamorous and glittery, and their smiles make rainbows appear! But Kevin is having a less-than-perfect day. First, he wakes up on the wrong side of the bed . . . on the floor. Then he discovers that his mane is so wild that even his Super-Perfect-Hair-Day-Spray can't tame it. And the day just gets worse from there. Kevin does his best to keep his outlook sunny, but it's hard to keep smiling when everything goes horribly wrong!


By Andrew Root, Erin Kraan (illustrator),

Book cover of Nerdycorn

Why did I love this book?

Fern the unicorn likes fixing and inventing more than prancing and dancing, a fact that gets her teased. When things fall apart at the party, her friends learn to see the value in her gifts. But will she want to help them after they call her names? 

I love this book because it pushes back on the idea that feminine can’t mean smart. Even better, it honors Fern’s reaction to the bullying rather than pushing the normal narrative of easy forgiveness. I admire its emotional honesty.

By Andrew Root, Erin Kraan (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Nerdycorn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fern isn't your usual unicorn...she loves chemistry and math more than glitter or flowers-and she refuses to change who she is in this sweet and empowering picture book about being yourself-and standing up for yourself, too!

Meet Fern! She's a smart, creative unicorn who prefers building robots and coding software to jumping through shimmering rainbows and splashing in majestic waterfalls. Even though Fern is a good friend and always willing to help others, the other unicorns tease her and call her a nerdycorn.

One day, Fern has had enough and decides to stop fixing her friends' broken things. But then…

Book cover of Unicorns Are the Worst!

Why did I love this book?

When a hardworking goblin gets a frivolous unicorn for a neighbor, it’s easy to understand why he’s a bit put out. After all, he knows many useful magical skills, like turning socks into slugs and making (broccoli-flavored) ice cream out of broccoli. So where are the kids begging for goblin-themed birthday parties, huh? What makes unicorns so special? Great for anyone who’s ever felt overlooked or a little jealous of the popular kids.

By Alex Willan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Unicorns Are the Worst! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Perfect for fans of Dragons Love Tacos and Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great, this wildly funny and imaginative picture book celebrates the value of differences as a grumpy goblin gets to know his new unicorn neighbors.

It’s an undeniable fact that unicorns are the worst!

Magic is serious business, but all unicorns do is frolic around, have tea parties, and leave glitter all over the place! They’re nothing like goblins—practical and hard-working, who can put magic to good use! Unicorns aren’t helpful at all.

Or are they?

Phoebe and Her Unicorn

By Dana Simpson,

Book cover of Phoebe and Her Unicorn

Why did I love this book?

When Phoebe accidentally rescues unicorn Marigold Heavenly Nostrils from a lifetime of staring at her own loveliness, the two become bonded for life. The graphic novel series gently pokes fun at popular culture as well as its characters’ petty foibles. It’s this generation’s version of Calvin and Hobbes, but with more sparkles and less casual misogyny. 

By Dana Simpson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Phoebe and Her Unicorn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A boy and his dog . . . a girl and her . . . unicorn?

It all started when Phoebe skipped a rock across a pond and accidentally hit a unicorn in the face. Improbably, this led to Phoebe being granted one wish, and used it to make the unicorn, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, her obligational best friend. But can a vain mythical beast and a nine-year-old daydreamer really forge a connection? Indeed they can, and that's how Heavenly Nostrils unfolds.

This beautifully drawn strip follows the unlikely friendship between a somewhat awkward girl and the unicorn who gradually shows…

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