The most recommended unicorn books

Who picked these books? Meet our 30 experts.

30 authors created a book list connected to unicorns, and here are their favorite unicorn books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What type of unicorn book?

Loading...
Loading...

Book cover of The Lore of the Unicorn

Joseph Nigg Author Of The Book of Fabulous Beasts: A Treasury of Writings from Ancient Times to the Present

From my list on following mythical beasts through time.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ancient mythical animals are all around us in words and images. Following the transformations of such animals through literature and art across millennia has been my passion since the early ’80s. It was then, after years of writing and teaching, that I became intrigued by a winged and fishtailed lion figure on an antique oil lamp hanging in my study. That hybrid creature led me to the eagle-lion griffin and my first published book, The Book of Gryphons. I have followed a host of mythical beasts ever since. My most recent book, The Phoenix: An Unnatural Biography of a Mythical Beast, was published in a 2021 Chinese translation.

Joseph's book list on following mythical beasts through time

Joseph Nigg Why did Joseph love this book?

The unicorn and the dragon are still the two most ubiquitous animals to emerge from the host of fantastic creatures that began spreading through popular books, art, and film in the late 1970s. Years before the unicorn’s commercial popularity, Odell Shepard’s classic book, The Lore of the Unicorn, traced the millennia-long cultural transformations of the mysterious animal, beginning with an early traveler’s tale of the wild asses of India. 

I admire Shepard’s blending of personal voice with wide-ranging research and commentary. He opens his introduction with, “On the table before me, there lies a long straight wand of ivory,” a walking stick made of narwhal tusk, which for centuries had been accepted as unicorn horn.

By Odell Shepard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lore of the Unicorn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work, created in the early 20th century by Odell Shepard, is one of the better works made through time to craft mythology (and cryptozoology of a fashion) together with more modern historical treatments of its subject matter. It is the unicorn (or alicorn) here which concerns the text- and related material ranging from the quite antiquated, to the medieval, and the then-modern as anthropology and adventure made its way further into the outlands of Africa, India, and Tibet.

Here, of note, is an extensive treatment of the purported healing and anti-poison properties of unicorn horn, medieval medicine processing the…


Book cover of The Little Llama Meets a Unicorn

Kimberley Paterson Author Of Mysty the Mystical Unicorn

From my list on that capture the magic of unicorns.

Why am I passionate about this?

My only granddaughter and her love and fascination with unicorns is the reason why I dedicated Mysty the Mystical Unicorn to her! I hope that Mysty inspires children everywhere to focus on their imagination, creativity and to always believe in themselves! My desire to write a children’s picture book started at a very young age, reading is a passion of mine that my own children inherited and now my grandchildren too! My wish is that all children will love Mysty and enjoy her adventures as well as the five books that I have recommended. Always keep on believing in magic, miracles, and yourselves!

Kimberley's book list on that capture the magic of unicorns

Kimberley Paterson Why did Kimberley love this book?

Everyone loves llamas and unicorns so being able to read a book that combines these two beautiful creatures is amazing. Lila the Llama knew if she wanted to find a unicorn, she needed to find a rainbow, so off she went. The creature she found was incredible. Children will love the imagination, creativity, and surprise ending!

By Isla Wynter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Little Llama Meets a Unicorn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lila the little llama has always wanted to meet a unicorn. But where to find one?

She follows the rainbow until she meets a very strange unicorn... not at all like what she imagined. 

An illustrated children's book about friendship and following your dreams.


Book cover of How to Catch a Unicorn

Shelli R. Johannes Author Of Shine Like a Unicorn

From my list on unicorn in the uni-verse.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved unicorns because they are magical and mysterious. They also represent individuality and uniqueness that makes them different. I love the different takes we see now – the grumpy unicorn, the difficult unicorn, the stereotypical unicorn, and the kittycorn.

Shelli's book list on unicorn in the uni-verse

Shelli R. Johannes Why did Shelli love this book?

I love this book because it's about kids who want to try and catch a unicorn. They set up all kinds of traps to trap the magical creature. Of course, the unicorn is way too clever and is determined not to be caught. The kids use everything imaginable to lure the unicorn: ice cream, glitter, and lemonade. It’s also a very sweet rhyming book, which is hard to do. Better luck next time!

By Adam Wallace,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Catch a Unicorn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestseller! Try to catch one of the world's most elusive mythical creatures-the unicorn-in this enchanting picture book for kids!

From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling How to Catch series comes a dazzling new adventure! Filled with zany traps, STEAM concepts, silly rhymes, and lots of rainbow unicorn fun, parents, educators, and young readers alike will delight in this colorful story as the Catch Club Kids are off in the zoo to catch this fantastical beast. Perfect for children ages 4-10, this is the ultimate unicorn gift of the year, great for birthdays,…


Book cover of The Changeling of Fenlen Forest

Natasha Deen Author Of The Signs and Wonders of Tuna Rashad

From my list on kickbutt heroines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in the 1980s when there wasn’t consideration for representation or diversity in literature or media. If I wanted to read about a Girl of Color, inevitably, she was a slave. If I wanted to watch a TV show featuring women (of any color), they were inevitably rescued in the climactic moment by a man. As such, I grew into a reader who loves kickbutt girls of all stripes. Give me a chance to cheer on a female who’s looking for her happy ending and not about to let the world dictate how she finds that happiness (and with whom), and boy, you got me!

Natasha's book list on kickbutt heroines

Natasha Deen Why did Natasha love this book?

A herd of wild unicorns, a gloomy forest, a changeling, and magicThe Changeling of Fenlen Forest is a perfect choice for a cozy day of reading. The book opens with Elizabeth as she searches for her lost unicorn fawn. But her search takes her to a strange land where Elizabeth resembles a missing girl. So much so, that the town’s people think she’s a changeling—and dangerous. Elizabeth, with the help of a handsome shepherd, searches for the answer behind the missing girl. But is she prepared for the secrets her search will uncover? The Changeling of Fenlen Forest is a journey into loss and identity, and it’s the perfect read for days when readers want to inhabit a mysterious new world that’s full of intrigue.

By Katherine Magyarody,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Changeling of Fenlen Forest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Elizabeth thinks she knows the gloomy Fenlen Forest. But when her treasured unicorn fawn, Sida, goes missing, Elizabeth tracks her into a strange land where the people think Elizabeth is a changeling, a malignant being who too-closely resembles a missing girl. If Elizabeth can find her fawn and uncover the fate of her lost double, can she stop the fear from turning into hate? To solve the deepening mystery, Elizabeth befriends a handsome, skeptical young shepherd whose stories hint at a dark secret lurking at the forest’s edge, and tame a herd of wild unicorns with the ability to unlock…


Book cover of Pseudodoxia Epidemica, or, Enquiries Into Very Many Received Tenents, and Commonly Presumed Truths

Joseph Nigg Author Of The Book of Fabulous Beasts: A Treasury of Writings from Ancient Times to the Present

From my list on following mythical beasts through time.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ancient mythical animals are all around us in words and images. Following the transformations of such animals through literature and art across millennia has been my passion since the early ’80s. It was then, after years of writing and teaching, that I became intrigued by a winged and fishtailed lion figure on an antique oil lamp hanging in my study. That hybrid creature led me to the eagle-lion griffin and my first published book, The Book of Gryphons. I have followed a host of mythical beasts ever since. My most recent book, The Phoenix: An Unnatural Biography of a Mythical Beast, was published in a 2021 Chinese translation.

Joseph's book list on following mythical beasts through time

Joseph Nigg Why did Joseph love this book?

Don’t be scared off by this 1646 book. It’s essential for anyone who follows mythical beasts through time. One of the best-known parts of Browne’s influential book is Book III: “Of divers popular and received Tenets concerning Animals, which examined, prove either false or dubious.” By discrediting the classical and medieval authorities that perpetuated them, he considers the griffin, basilisk, unicorn, amphisbaena, and phoenix to be “fabulous,” thus separating them from the actual animal kingdom after centuries of general belief.

The now obscure Alexander Ross, “Champion of the Ancients,” refuted Browne’s book virtually point for point in his 1652 Arcana Microcosmi. Ross lost that Battle of the Books between the ancients and the moderns. Mythical animals rarely appeared in eighteenth-century literature, but they rose again a century later.

By Sir Thomas Browne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pseudodoxia Epidemica, or, Enquiries Into Very Many Received Tenents, and Commonly Presumed Truths as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. To ensure a quality reading experience, this work has been…


Book cover of Nerdycorn

Jess Hernandez Author Of First Day of Unicorn School

From my list on unusual unicorns.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.  

Jess' book list on unusual unicorns

Jess Hernandez Why did Jess 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. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

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 My Sister Is a Unicorn

Kimberley Paterson Author Of Mysty the Mystical Unicorn

From my list on that capture the magic of unicorns.

Why am I passionate about this?

My only granddaughter and her love and fascination with unicorns is the reason why I dedicated Mysty the Mystical Unicorn to her! I hope that Mysty inspires children everywhere to focus on their imagination, creativity and to always believe in themselves! My desire to write a children’s picture book started at a very young age, reading is a passion of mine that my own children inherited and now my grandchildren too! My wish is that all children will love Mysty and enjoy her adventures as well as the five books that I have recommended. Always keep on believing in magic, miracles, and yourselves!

Kimberley's book list on that capture the magic of unicorns

Kimberley Paterson Why did Kimberley love this book?

This book is a very fun, rhyming story about a little girl who meets her new baby sister, but surprise, she is not just any sister, she is a unicorn! Follow along with the adventures of Ciara and her unicorn sister Tilly as they go from one adventure to another. They take the bus to school, go swimming, travel by airplane, and on and on, their adventures are endless. Children will love this book about sibling friends having fun together and just enjoying being together.

By Elaine Heney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Sister Is a Unicorn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What do you do when you discover your sister is a unicorn? This is the story of a little girl who got a big surprise when her new sister appeared one day! Laugh your way through this charming book with this heart-warming unicorn sister story that both adults and kids can enjoy together as Ciara and her unicorn sister get into all types of trouble as they embark on amazing adventures around the world together.

Perfect gift for little ones: Kids will be captivated with the charming and endearing book, full of laughs and giggles for one and all. Perfect…


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

Jess Hernandez Author Of First Day of Unicorn School

From my list on unusual unicorns.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.  

Jess' book list on unusual unicorns

Jess Hernandez Why did Jess 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. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

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!


Book cover of Skandar and the Unicorn Thief

Linda Chapman Author Of Moonlight Riders: Fire Horse

From Linda's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Lover of all things magic Unicorn dreamer Animal crazy Horse rider

Linda's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Linda Chapman Why did Linda love this book?

It’s probably not a surprise I like a book about unicorns and magic, given I write about those things so much, but these are unicorns for an older age group – magnificent, powerful, wild – and often frightening.

The story follows the journey of thirteen-year-old Skandar Smith in his quest to become a Unicorn Rider. He has to hatch and bond with a unicorn, learn how to help it use its magic, deal with being at a new school where not all the students and teachers are friendly, and, if that’s not enough, he also has to defeat a powerful enemy.

It’s gripping, thrilling and full of exciting battles and magic. I can’t wait to read the next installment!

By A F Steadman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Skandar and the Unicorn Thief as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

HEROES AND UNICORNS AS YOU'VE NEVER SEEN THEM BEFORE. The first book in the award-winning, international hit fantasy adventure series for children age 9+, and fans of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Eragon and Fireborn.

WATERSTONES CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE YEAR 2022
WINNER OF THE INDIE BOOK AWARDS 2023!

'Steadman has a vast imagination, her world-building is a joy, the battle scenes are thrilling and her characters charm.' - The Times Children's Book of the Week
'Pacy, enthralling and epic, a gripping read.' - Louie Stowell, author of Loki and Otherland
'A dazzling feat of imagination. I loved every breathless moment…


Book cover of The Road to Balinor

Sydney Scrogham Author Of Chase

From my list on for horse crazy kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a horse-crazy girl (going on nearly 20 years now)! Horses are excellent teachers and even better friends. They never lie, and they always treat you fairly. I’ve been teaching lessons for the past five years as a PATH Intl. certified instructor, and it’s been such a joy to share my love of horses with others. Here’s to all the great real-life horses in the world that inspire such great books.

Sydney's book list on for horse crazy kids

Sydney Scrogham Why did Sydney love this book?

This is another oldie, but a goodie! The Unicorns of Balinor was my favorite book series as a kid, and I’ve even revisited it as an adult. I may or may not have painted some model horses after the Sunchaser. This is a testament to how good of a story this is—growing up, these books were always checked out at the library! (Yes, that was the cool thing to do back then.) If you’re looking for epic fantasy adventures with fantastical unicorns, this is for you.

By Mary Stanton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Road to Balinor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As Arianna recovers from a bad accident and loss of memory, she slowly recalls things about her past and learns that her “horse” Chase can speak thoughts to her, as can her dog. When Chase is threatened, Arianna tries to run away with Chase and Lincoln – only to find herself transported into the world of Balinor, where she must reclaim her birthright.

“Stanton writes with a sure hand." - Orson Scott Card

on THE HEAVENLY HORSE FROM THE OUTERMOST WEST
“A wonderful book”…“It is also required reading…for all animal lovers.”
- Gene Wolfe

“If you loved WATERSHIP DOWN ……