Following Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great (2013), the extra-special equine is back for the first day of school, and he’s having trouble with the fact that he doesn’t stand out in the crowd.
Thinking quite highly of himself, Unicorn is confident on the first day, while best friend Goat suffers from “contractually obligated first-day jitters.” But later, their situations are reversed. Unicorn is chagrined that all anyone can focus on are “rubber bands that look like other things” (Shea skewers the decade-old Silly Bandz craze). Unicorn decides to regain the spotlight with a new, improved version of himself: He’ll be a “new-nicorn,” complete with rainbow wig and fake tail, colored contacts, “horn enhancer,” and an attitude and personality to match. His friends’ reactions don’t faze him in the slightest: “Why are you drawn like that?” a pig speculates metafictively. But his narcissism and lack of respect for other people’s space and boundaries mean he tromps (sometimes literally) all over his peers. “Go home, Unicorn!” A depressed and depressing day at home ends with the doorbell: Unicorn’s friends have missed him even though he’s “been super-annoying.” Hysterical side commentary and even funnier details in the cartoon illustrations will keep readers coming back again and again for more of Shea’s irreverent, tongue-in-cheek humor.
And if readers learn a lesson about humility along the way? That’s just the icing on Unicorn’s flaming birthday cakes. (Picture book. 4-8)