When Cole arrives, best friends Sparkle and Lucy learn to navigate friendship as a trio.
Sparkle the unicorn-goat and Lucy, his determined girl owner, return (A Unicorn Named Sparkle, 2016), this time for a play date. Jealousy rears its ugly horn when new-kid Cole and Lucy hit it off, causing Sparkle to sabotage their fun. Drumming brings the quadruped around, but then it’s Lucy’s turn to feel left out. Music ultimately unites the three, as they drum and dance to one another’s beat. Appealing illustrations, done in pen with pastel washes of color, are warm and inviting. Expressive characters with silly poses may invoke giggles. While the first book focused on Lucy’s fanciful imagination and the contrast of her expectations with reality, this story is linear and potentially the more satisfying of the two. Aside from the cover, there is no glitter and fewer rainbows, but the entertaining narrative panels enhance the playful text. Later, when Sparkle and the curly, black-haired Lucy (who has a peach complexion, a couple shades darker than blond, pale-skinned Cole’s) share a cupcake, they also share a moment, realizing they can make new friends and still be best friends.
A lively tale about the changing dynamics of friendship. (Picture book. 3-7)