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I Believe in Unicorns

I Believe in Unicorns

Paperback

By (author) Michael Morpurgo, Illustrated by Gary Blythe

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  • Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 80 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 184mm x 10mm | 141g
  • Publication date: 4 September 2006
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 140630204X
  • ISBN 13: 9781406302042
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Sales rank: 27,011

Product description

Tomas hates school, hates books and hates stories. Forced to visit the library, he stops to listen to magical tales that the Unicorn Lady spins. These tales draw him in and are about to change the course of his life for ever...Set against the backdrop of war-torn Europe, "I Believe in Unicorns" explores the power of stories to transform lives. Produced in association with the Unicorn Theatre, the first purpose-built professional theatre for children in the UK, located on London's South Bank.

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Author information

Michael Morpurgo, the 2003-2005 Children's Laureate, is widely recognized as a master storyteller, and has won numerous awards for his work, including the Smarties Book Prize, the Whitbread Award, the Writers' Guild Award and the Children's Book Award. He lives in Devon. Gary Blythe has illustrated many picture books for children, winning the Kate Greenaway Medal for The Whales' Song, his first book. He lives near Liverpool.

Review quote

"I Believe in Unicorns needs to be bought for every library, school and home... to share with as many children as we can so that they can experience its magic for themselves." The Bookseller"

Editorial reviews

In a fictional episode inspired by several true ones, people band together to save their library after a sudden attack leaves their small town in flames. At first, young Tomas, who narrates, has no interest in going to the village library, but that attitude changes completely after he hears the new librarian tell stories from a wooden seat shaped like a unicorn. Eventually, she invites Tomas himself to read from a battered copy of "The Little Match Girl" that, she explains, had been rescued from a book-burning in her youth. Then an attack by air and land shatters the mountain valley's peace, and when Tomas hurries into town afterwards, he joins his father and other survivors in braving the fire to carry the library's books-and, finally, its unicorn-to safety. "Buildings they can destroy. Dreams they cannot," the librarian proclaims. Modeling forms with scribbly lines, Blythe alternates black-and-white vignettes with wordless full-spread scenes in color; like Morpurgo, he suggests a European setting but no specific locale for the story. And like Jeanette Winter's The Librarian of Basra (2005), the idea that saving literature is as heroic as saving lives comes through loud and clear. (Fiction. 9-11) (Kirkus Reviews)