Lucy dreams of owning a unicorn, but a mail-order scam brings a one-horned, smelly goat instead—who just might be her perfect match.
When Lucy spots an ad for a 25 cent unicorn, she pops her money in the mail and begins to imagine riding her majestic beast over rainbows, adorning it with flowers, and bringing it to show and tell. But when a bleating crate arrives, expectations and reality collide. Sparkle, spotted and flea-ridden, is persistent in his goatishness, and the black-and-kinky–haired, peach-complexioned Lucy calls for a refund. Luckily, the two bond while Sparkle awaits pickup, and catastrophe is averted. The pencil, pen, and watercolor illustrations, done in a simple, loose style, offer expressive, playful character poses. And Young hits all the visual beats, creating something likable and appealing. Yet there are moments of greater promise—the ad on the back cover, with its zinelike look; the girlcentric endpapers (rainbows! cupcakes! butterflies! stars! goat?!?)—that hint at something edgier and more distinctive that hasn’t quite developed.
A tale about coming to love someone—or something—for who they are and not what one hopes them to be: a pleasant addition to the odd-couple shelf. (Picture book. 2-6)