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BEYOND THE PORTAL by Donna Galanti


From the Unicorn Island series, volume 3

by Donna Galanti ; illustrated by Bethany Stancliffe

Pub Date: April 4th, 2023
ISBN: 9781524878702
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

A secret portal to the home world of the unicorns brings Sam and her long-lost mother back together in this trilogy closer.

The revelation in the previous episode that her mom, who disappeared 10 years ago, might still be alive sends Sam slipping away from her overprotective dad to open a portal on fog-shrouded Unicorn Island. She and friends Tuck (a human boy) and Barloc (a unicorn) pass through. On the other side, they find the villagers of Crag Haven packing up to flee because the unicorns, whose ground up horns counteract the poison in the local river’s water, have been hunted to extinction—by, shockingly, Sam’s own mother, Sylvie. Can Sam not only protect Barloc, but also save the villagers and, most difficult of all, persuade Sylvie to give up her new life for her former one? Galanti poses her young unicorn protector some tough challenges, all of which are successfully met (without harm done to any two- or four-legged cast members) on the way to a tearful parental reunion and, as is the author’s wont, a series of informational appendices on relevant topics from equine colic and horseback riding to the healing properties of unicorn horns in legend and the importance of pure water. Sam and the unicorns alike in Stancliffe’s neatly finished illustrations shake out lyrically flowing locks, and the luridly green river looks properly noxious.

A nimble trot to a joyous finish.

(Fantasy. 7-11)