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Here There Be Unicorns Hardcover – December 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 930L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 115 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Childrens Books (J); 1st edition (December 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152099026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152099022
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,237,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7?The majesty and mystery of these mythical beasts are explored in original stories and poems that draw on both Western and Eastern traditions and have strong heroines and heroes. Yolen prefaces each selection with a note that includes facts and folklore. Masterfully woven together are tales both romantic ("Unicorn Tapestry") and humorous ("An Infestation of Unicorns"). "The Unicorn and the Pool" incorporates the legend of the creature's horn as protection against poison and is a profoundly affecting allegory. The touch of the horn heals a traumatized child who has lost the desire to speak in "The Boy Who Drew Unicorns," a story that previously appeared in Bruce Coville's Unicorn Treasury (Doubleday, 1988). Most of the tales are set in "fairy-tale times," but a few are contemporary. Mature readers will appreciate the poetry, which is more abstract than, but reinforces, the stories. Yolen is adept at setting a scene and evoking emotions without being effusive, and readers will delight in her use of irony. This title complements James Cross Giblin's The Truth About Unicorns (HarperCollins, 1991), and it is similar to Coville's Unicorn Treasury. Another magical collection from the creators of Here There Be Dragons (Harcourt, 1993).?Cheri Estes, Dorchester Road Regional Library, Charleston, SC
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-10. Yolen's latest collection of stories and poetry on a single theme will appeal to unicorn lovers, to readers who enjoy tales based on old lore, and to teachers who want fine examples of fantasy to read aloud to their classes. All the selections are intriguing, but "Unicorn Tapestry," the 50-word poem "The Promise," and "De Natura Unicorni," which contains the traditional themes associated with unicorn lore (healing, true goodness, and unqualified love), are particularly good. The poems, which are written in a variety of styles, including some that are quite challenging, are sure to generate interesting discussions about creative expression. In brief notes preceding each selection, Yolen lends insight into the background of the myths and into her own creative process. These notes are as thoughtful and entertaining as the selections and add much to the enjoyment of the stories. Chris Sherman

More About the Author

Born and raised in New York City, Jane Yolen now lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts. She attended Smith College and received her master's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts. The distinguished author of more than 170 books, Jane Yolen is a person of many talents. When she is not writing, Yolen composes songs, is a professional storyteller on the stage, and is the busy wife of a university professor, the mother of three grown children, and a grandmother. Active in several organizations, Yolen has been on the Board of Directors of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, was president of the Science Fiction Writers of America from 1986 to 1988, is on the editorial board of several magazines, and was a founding member of the Western New England Storytellers Guild, the Western Massachusetts Illustrators Guild, and the Bay State Writers Guild. For twenty years, she ran a monthly writer's workshop for new children's book authors. In 1980, when Yolen was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree by Our Lady of the Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts, the citation recognized that "throughout her writing career she has remained true to her primary source of inspiration--folk culture." Folklore is the "perfect second skin," writes Yolen. "From under its hide, we can see all the shimmering, shadowy uncertainties of the world." Folklore, she believes, is the universal human language, a language that children instinctively feel in their hearts. All of Yolen's stories and poems are somehow rooted in her sense of family and self. The Emperor and the Kite, which was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1983 for its intricate papercut illustrations by Ed Young, was based on Yolen's relationship with her late father, who was an international kite-flying champion. Owl Moon, winner of the 1988 Caldecott Medal for John Schoenherr's exquisite watercolors, was inspired by her husband's interest in birding. Yolen's graceful rhythms and outrageous rhymes have been gathered in numerous collections. She has earned many awards over the years: the Regina Medal, the Kerlan Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Society of Children's Book Writers Award, the Mythopoetic Society's Aslan Award, the Christopher Medal, the Boy's Club Jr. Book Award, the Garden State Children's Book Award, the Daedalus Award, a number of Parents' Choice Magazine Awards, and many more. Her books and stories have been translated into Japanese, French, Spanish, Chinese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Afrikaans, !Xhosa, Portuguese, and Braille. With a versatility that has led her to be called "America's Hans Christian Andersen," Yolen, the child of two writers, is a gifted and natural storyteller. Perhaps the best explanation for her outstanding accomplishments comes from Jane Yolen herself: "I don't care whether the story is real or fantastical. I tell the story that needs to be told."

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Unicorns usually mean fluff fiction characters, and sugary cliches. Not so here! This exquisitely illustrated collection of short stories and poems is worth the hunt for it. (Also recommended is the author's other book, White Hart)
"Making of a Unicorn" is a beautiful poem in Shakespearean style, while "Unicorn Tapestry" is a haunting medieval story and romance. "Death of a Unicorn" is also beautiful, but a little hard to understand. "Infestation of Unicorns" is a slyly funny story about monks vs. unicorns. "The Lady's Garden" is a parable-like story about a beautiful, unnamed woman and three unicorns -- who end up adopting a human baby, with unexpected results. "Hunting of the Narwhal" is a catchy poem/song about finding a narwhal (a whale with a pointed horn protruding from its forehead). Then there is the uniquely-written "Boy Who Drew Unicorns," about an isolated boy who draws unicorns -- much of it is the dialogue of other people, who go unnamed and uncredited, like echoes.
"The Promise" is probably the shortest short story I've ever read. "The Hunt", a tale of the whole maiden-unicorn thing, is not much longer. "Unicorn Leaves is a pretty poem; so is "Unicorn's Pool." "De Natura Unicorni" is a grittier, harsher story that stays in the mind a lot longer -- the story of the hunt of a unicorn. "Unicorn and the Pool" (very different from the aforementioned poem) reads a bit like an old myth/legend. "Visitor's Account" is nice, though written quite differently from the other poems. "Healing Horn" is a gem among short stories, where some young kinds named after Yolen's own children find a magical unicorn's horn. Then "Rhinoceros," the content of which you can guess. Then it is "Li Po and the Unicorn," a Chinese-themed short story about the Chinese unicorn k'i-lin.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Jane Yolen's great creative gifts come to the fore in this enchanting volume, which is a marvelous companion to "Here There Be Dragons."
Both of these collections of stories and poems are superbly illustrated by duotone pencil drawings by David Wilgus. His detailed pictures are true compliments to what are destined to become classics in children's literature.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Unicorns usually mean fluff fiction, idiotic characters, and sugary cliches. Not so here! This exquisitely illustrated collection of short stories and poems is worth the hunt for it. (Also recommended is the author's other book, White Hart)
"Making of a Unicorn" is a beautiful poem in Shakespearean style, while "Unicorn Tapestry" is a haunting medieval story and romance. "Death of a Unicorn" is also beautiful, but a little hard to understand. "Infestation of Unicorns" is a slyly funny story about monks vs. unicorns. "The Lady's Garden" is a parable-like story about a beautiful, unnamed woman and three unicorns -- who end up adopting a human baby. "Hunting of the Narwhal" is a catchy poem/song about finding a narwhal (a whale with a pointed horn protruding from its forehead). Then there is the uniquely-written "Boy Who Drew Unicorns," about an isolated boy who draws unicorns -- much of it is the dialogue of other people, who go unnamed and uncredited, like echoes.
"The Promise" is probably the shortest short story I've ever read. "The Hunt", a tale of the whole maiden-unicorn thing, is not much longer. "Unicorn Leaves is a pretty poem; so is "Unicorn's Pool." "De Natura Unicorni" is a grittier, harsher story that stays in the mind a lot longer -- the story of the hunt of a unicorn. "Unicorn and the Pool" (very different from the aforementioned poem) reads a bit like an old myth/legend. "Visitor's Account" is nice, though written quite differently from the other poems. "Healing Horn" is a gem among short stories, where some young kinds named after Yolen's own children find a magical unicorn's horn. Then "Rhinoceros," the content of which you can guess. Then it is "Li Po and the Unicorn," a Chinese-themed short story about the Chinese unicorn k'i-lin.
Read more ›
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