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Goodnight unicorn lovers everywhere

horne_goodnight-unicornGoodnight Unicorn by Pearl E. Horne, illustrated by Kendra Spanjer (Bailiwick Press, February 2016) bills itself as “a magical parody” of – you guessed it! – Goodnight Moon. Given the descriptor parody right there on the cover, I expected the book to be silly: filled with farting rainbows and all that. Parodies are supposed to be funny, aren’t they? Well, this isn’t. It is beautifully illustrated with soft-focus illustrations, and would have rocked me to sleep if I were a toddler, but it is not a parody.

So from here on out, maybe it’s better to think of this as a picture book totally independent from Goodnight Moon. Kids reading this will, right? No toddler is going to be psyched about this book because it’s an homage to the classic going-to-bed book. They’re going to be psyched about it because unicorns. And boy, are there unicorns. Some with beards, some with rainbow manes, some with wings, some with My Little Pony–esque tattooed butts, some with zebra stripes, etc. There are unicorns everywhere, and every one of them looks as magical as the next. The accompanying words are rhythmic and soothing. They don’t always make sense (“Goodnight purple. Goodnight pink. / Goodnight colts and bashful wink.”), but that doesn’t really matter; it’s more of a lullabye to put kids to sleep than a story to be followed.

My favorite part of this book is actually the last three pages filled with unicorn “facts” that every budding Unicornologist must know. Did you know that a pack of unicorns is called a “blessing,” or that the spiraling horn of a unicorn is called an “alicorn”? A caveat: it’s possible these pages will undo everything the bedtime book just did. Kids will be just about ready to go to sleep, dreaming of unicorns on phoenix-feather beds, then wake right up because there are a bunch of interesting things to learn about unicorns at the end. If you’re reading this book to your children, maybe read the last few pages first.

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