Prepare for a story of mystical proportions in A Unicorn Named Sparkle by Amy Young. A young girl named Lucy discovers an ad for a unicorn that is for sale for 25 cents. She hurriedly sends in her money and eagerly awaits the unicorn's arrival.
While she waits, she begins to dream about all of the things that she and her unicorn will do together. Lucy has even picked out her new pet's name: Sparkle. She also prepares a special cupcake treat to present to Sparkle.
The unicorn man soon arrives with a large box. Upon opening the box, Lucy discovers that Sparkle is not at all what she had expected. He is unwilling to play dress up or go to show-and-tell. With her dreams shattered, Lucy calls the unicorn man and tells him that she no longer wants Sparkle.
When he returns to collect Sparkle the next day, Lucy feels torn. Could the pet she didn't want turn out to be the pet of her dreams?
I absolutely love this story! In fact, it may very well be my new favorite children's book. The story is so touching and strikes a true chord with me as I am heavily involved in animal rescue. Too often, animals are passed over due to their looks without anyone taking the time to get to know their personalities.
This is exactly the case with one of my pets. Penny is a Chiweenie that was born with a deformed front paw and a severe overbite. No one at the shelter wanted her due to her unique looks. She was going to be euthanized until a rescue group saved her in the nick of time. My husband and I then adopted her and she has been inspiring us ever since. Although she is a tripawd (only has three legs) she can do everything that her four-legged siblings can do. We had incorrectly assumed that she would need extra care because of the missing leg, but all of our misconceptions were shattered when we met Penny.
There are so many wonderful lessons in this story. The most obvious is not to judge a book by its cover. Another is that relationships take time to grow. Lucy was expecting an instant love connection, but did not realize that building a relationship takes more than just a few days. The more she gets to know Sparkle, the more she can see just how special he is.
I was also captivated by Young's illustrations. They are bright, youthful and charming. Sparkle is adorable! I love that he has a heart shaped spot by his bottom.
This book is perfect for readers of all ages. Sparkle will tug at the reader's heart strings. I would highly recommend it to animal rescue groups and shelters as part of a humane education lesson.