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Where Have the Unicorns Gone? Paperback – December 1, 2003


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Where Have the Unicorns Gone? + Unicorn Wings (Step into Reading)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (December 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689863594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689863592
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #520,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4-A purposeful poem poses the question and gives its own answers in words and pictures. The unicorns have fled and disappeared into the sea before the worst aspects of civilization-war, deforestation, industrialization, and overpopulation-threaten their existence. The poem reads aloud well. The onomatopoeic descriptions ("clacketing mills" and "chuggering trains") and alliterative phrases ("ribbon-rolled river" and "perfect peace of ponds") roll pleasantly off the tongue. However, some of the language, e.g., "Routed by gouts of iron-red flames" and "the cataphonetics of city and town," seems rhetorically ornate. The illustrator's extravagant, romanticized double-page spreads are as grandiose as the poetry, using a complex method of layering oils on gessoed Masonite panels, sometimes textured with pumice gel and modeling paste. Overall, there is no real plot and what strives to be inspiring seems ultimately pretentious. Marianna Mayer's The Unicorn and the Lake (Dial, 1982; o.p.) is more touching and compelling and Michael Hague's unicorns are more powerfully rendered.
Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Old Greenwich, CT
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Ages 6-8. A gifted wordsmith answers the title question in verse set to Sanderson's most powerful, expressive art to date. Where are the unicorns? Fleeing the "helmeted knights and their steel-weapon games," the "clacketing mills" and "iron sharp city-straight scapes," the unicorns have escaped to the sea, where "in the moment that separates nighttime and dawn, / The instant of daydream that's here and then gone, / You might see the toss of a mane or a horn. . . ." Using rough, prepared surfaces to capture texture, Sanderson adds layers of misty color to create a feeling of depth between the powerful, iridescent-looking beasts in the foreground, and the human works--castles, factories, a space shuttle roaring up from its launch pad--past which they gallop. The grand, lyrical sweep of poem and pictures together will carry readers to a place where the mundane and the magical blend. John Peters
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Complete with beautiful pictures on every page.
brown eyes
She was excited when she rec'd this book in the mail to her, though her mother had to read it to her she's only 6 yrs old.
Inez Pacheco
I originally chose this book for the illustrations, thinking it was just a common story book.
The Handy Lady

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The pictures alone could tell the story in this incredibly illustrated story for children of all ages. If your children do not already have a wonder for Unicorns and their mystical beauty, they will. It will make your childs imagination run wild everytime they look at the ocean. There is nothing better then reading a story to your children that you can both appreciate. I fell in love with it the first page I turned.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael Samoska on October 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I read 373 books to my children this past summer...this was the most beautiful one of them all! The illustrations, the poetry, the deep and wonderous messages buried in the words are a rare find.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Beautiful, beautiful pictures and a nice retelling of the Unicorn legend. But... The book is worth the pictures alone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Artistry Home on September 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
I absolutely loved this book! I picked it out as a birthday gift for my 4 years old son. It is beautiful! The art is exquisite! Ruth Sanderson uses amazing colors and symbols to put Yolen's poem into pictures: the unicorns are running away trying to survive in a world where the coldness of steel, the darkness of pollution are slowly creeping into their dreamy perfect universe. Although I agree with another reviewer that the book is missing that poetry, fairy tale fragrance usually connected to unicorns, I have to admit that I like Yolen's interesting twist. It is perfectly true that a fast pace heavily industrialized world leaves very little room for poetry, fairy tales and everything that used to represent a mystical childhood dream. The unicorns are running away from all that, becoming one with the water and the waves.

This book is definitely a must have.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By The Handy Lady on January 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
I originally chose this book for the illustrations, thinking it was just a common story book. Well, it's not--it's so much more than that. To my surprise, my 6 and 4 year-olds were thinking and asking questions about this book for days after we read it. This led to several long discussions (all initiated by the kids)about how we humans impact the environment. If I had read this book on my own, I would have thought the environmental message too subtle for 4-6 year-olds, but my kids totally got it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By F. Thalhammer on May 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
girls are into this kind of stuff and it is written quiet well and the pictures are fabulous as well enjoy
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Wickman on May 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want to know where the unicorns have gone, just make your way to the sea. This gorgeously illustrated poetic story helps children to understand that though our daily lives become eclipsed by modernity, we can always escape to a more wonderous and peaceful existence when we search out the natural world. Things we have forgotten or failed to notice can be reclaimed in the imaginations of the mind, but only if we search them out. Filled with stunningly beautiful art and rythmic words which flow off the tounge, this narrative about the wild and natural world verses the changing world from the turn of the century will generate interesting conversation with your little ones. My two daughters (ages 5 and 7 ) and I just checked this book out from the library last week. I am now purchasing it from Amazon because it is a "must have" for our personal library.
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