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Where Have the Unicorns Gone?

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3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  159 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Long ago unicorns lived in a haven of sun-dappled glades and flower-filled dells. But as civilization spread over the ages -- with its fierce knights, its chugging trains, its thick smogs -- unicorns had to find a new sanctuary. But where?
Jane Yolen finds a magical answer in the traditional unicorn myth. Her rhythmic, rhymed text is irresistible to read aloud. And Ruth S
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Paperback, 32 pages
Published December 1st 2003 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published 2000)
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The Last Unicorn by Peter S. BeagleInto the Land of the Unicorns by Bruce CovilleSong of the Wanderer by Bruce CovilleDark Whispers by Bruce CovilleHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
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89th out of 262 books — 209 voters
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Picture Books About Mystical/Magical Creatures
22nd out of 116 books — 16 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 289)
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Jill
Jan 06, 2014 Jill rated it really liked it
I read this to my six-year-old in the library today. I expected much less than I received. The word choice was much better than I thought I would find in a children's book as well as the verse style. The illustrations were beautiful as well. I encouraged my daughter to check the book out of the library so we could read it again at home.
T Crockett
Jun 29, 2015 T Crockett rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book is growing on me. The 1st time I read it with a youngster (preschool) the poetic language was too much of a barrier. We tried again when she was in kindergarten and we made it through. She didn't love it. In fact I think we only read it once before it was due back at the library, but maybe we'll try again next year.
Jordan Brown
Mar 17, 2014 Jordan Brown rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-etl-2368
Where Have the Unicorns Gone?
Author: Jane Yolen
Reading level: 6-9

Yolen, Jane (2000) Where Have the Unicorns Gone? New York: Simon and Schuster

This book details the circumstances of the Unicorns' disappearance.

This book is beautifully illustrated. The art is very ethereal and captivating. The words help the pictures come alive, as they are as soft and beautiful as the imagery. The book is essentially a poem--a lovely one at that. There seems to be some commentary involving the unicorns' disappear
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Heather
Mar 21, 2009 Heather rated it it was ok
I grabbed this book off the library shelves due to the title Where Have The Unicorns Gone; I thought it would be appealing to my 5-year-old daughter who is very much interested in all things princess and magical. What we ended up reading, however, was not what we were expecting. This was one author's explanation of how unicorns - who once freely roamed the earth - have been pushed to the seas due to the increasing population of humans over the years.

Although my daughter was a bit disturbed by i
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Sarah Adamson
Sep 18, 2014 Sarah Adamson rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful and moving book. It generated discussion on magical vs real creatures and how we can use our imagination. Anything can be real in our dreams. A beautifully worded book - so much more a poem than a kids book with some very complex words. Gorgeous illustrations and just very moving.
Lizzy
May 28, 2014 Lizzy rated it it was amazing
Thanks Josay for putting this on hold for me! :D I will look for my unicorns "in the moment that separates nighttime and dawn, the instant of daydream that's here and then gone, You might see the toss of a mane or a horn and the wavery shape of escaped unicorn." :)
Rebecca
Jul 21, 2015 Rebecca rated it it was ok
Obnoxious preachy badly-written thing rife with malapropism. Like Tolkien's "Where are the horse and the rider?" poem, only with less poetry, meaning, or coherence.

Nice illustrations earn it an extra star. Otherwise, fuggedaboudit.
S. Todd Strader
Nov 07, 2013 S. Todd Strader rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
I love Yolen's use of language. I love that her word choice seems the same be it for a picture book like this or for her young adult work. She uses the right word. If that sends a child (or adult) off to the dictionary so be it. I see in this exemplary poem (aren't hers always so) a statement about mans progressive assaults on nature. I think I also spy, married to it, a statement about mans progressive reliance on reason, the demonstrative and the pragmatic. Is progress always progress? Where t ...more
Naomi
Jun 20, 2015 Naomi rated it liked it
I love Jane Yolen's ability to bring folklore to life and how it continues in today's world (i.e. look for unicorns in the waves) I just an't help but think these books are too old for their targeted audience.
Julie Hedlund
Mar 22, 2014 Julie Hedlund rated it it was amazing
After Owl Moon, possibly my favorite book by Jane Yolen. The words are as beautiful and mysterious as their subject-matter. This book is a must for all unicorn-lovers.
Denise
Apr 20, 2015 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
This is a sweet, romantic, fantastical lyric story.
Linn
Apr 25, 2012 Linn rated it it was amazing
Jane Yolen's poetry has always had a strong pull on me. I've never been fond of poetry, but hers is the most likely to bring me to tears. I just finished reading this at the return counter of the library where I work and I had to take a moment. This is melancholy, joyful, bittersweet and gentle, a beautiful answer to the question of what drove unicorns from the world and why magic is fading in the light of modern society. The artwork is lovely and perfectly compliments the story.
Amber
Jul 23, 2012 Amber rated it liked it
The vocabulary in this book is a little challenging for younger readers. Although I found the pictures to be breathtaking, the story didn't really hold our attention well. The poetry was dense and complicated, no real traces of the sing-song easy rhythm that attracts younger readers. This is the type of story that is perfect for kids that are truly interested in the unicorn folk lore, not an every day reader.
Dolly
Aug 09, 2011 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderfully magical book about unicorns. The narrative is lyrical and with only a few lines per page, children will not be overwhelmed by the poetry. The illustrations are marvelous and one of our favorites was the picture of the waves at the end. Our girls love unicorns, so they really liked this book. I think it's a perfect book for anyone who is enchanted by these mystical, mythical creatures.
Marie
May 14, 2012 Marie rated it it was amazing
As a professional in the field of Children's literature, I like to think I know a good book when I see and read one. Jane Yolen's verse combined with Ruth's artwork is simply a classic. I have used this book for numerous story times in the last twelve years I have been a librarian and it never fails to capture the children's attention, as well as that of adults. Beautiful illustrations take my breath away.
Abbey Maraugha
This book is a little out there. But there are great words for vocabulary lessons in it.
Cana
Oct 22, 2008 Cana rated it it was ok
Mommy says: Jane Yolen is a pretty reliable children's author, but I found this book atypically corny and preachy for her. It's a moralizing poem about where the unicorns have disappeared to, as they run from Man's noise and pollution. Accomapnied by rather cheesy, Wyland-esque illustrations. Kids did not mind but were not terribly engaged in the story.
Marcy
Dec 12, 2011 Marcy rated it it was amazing
This book is beautifully written, it would make an excellent read aloud. The story ponders what may have happened to the unicorns, exploring different affects humans may have had on the unicorns leaving. At the end she offers a suggestion as to where we might still see unicorns today. The illustrations in the book are beautiful.
Slee
Apr 11, 2013 Slee rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, ecology
A thought provoking children's book that raises awareness of environmental issues while still supporting wonder and mystery: this is why I love Jane Yolen. Ruth Sanderson's illustrations captivate without overexciting, which makes this a good settling in for the night story.
Megan Sanchez
Jun 24, 2012 Megan Sanchez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW. A gorgeous book with a hypnotic poetic rhythm and did I mention GORGEOUS? The illustrations reminded me of being a little girl obsessed with unicorns, knights in shining armor and all the trappings of a good fantasy novel. I'm in love.
Cindi
Jan 10, 2009 Cindi rated it it was amazing
We're enjoying unicorns at our house right now and this is a very pretty book! A bit more time taken in certain sections of the rhyming text would have had an even more magical effect, but this book really took me away from this world!
Tabi Card
Nov 29, 2011 Tabi Card rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kinda made me wish for a better explanation as to why the unicorns got turned into the sea or something. Absolutely LOVED the pictures though!!!
Rebecca
Jun 01, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was ok
Shelves: children
I guess unicorns just aren't my thing. This book seemed fluffy and other-wordly and its text was so verbose that I thought it was just ok.
Courtney
Oct 12, 2010 Courtney rated it liked it
Shelves: bobo-challenge
Beautiful art and lyrics. It reminded me of The Last Unicorn. Instead of the red bull driving the unicorns away, it was progress.
Paula

The unicorns flee from the noise, violence, and destruction of civilization and find refuge in the sea.
Beverly
Nov 07, 2012 Beverly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
Absolutely gorgeous illustrations by Ruth Sanderson, one of my favorite illustrators.
Ruth
Oct 05, 2012 Ruth rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf, mine
A simply beautiful childrens story -- well told and stunningly illustrated.
Teri
Aug 03, 2010 Teri rated it it was amazing
What a magical book--written in a nice poetic form. My girls LOVE this book!
Echo
Aug 04, 2011 Echo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
I love this book. It has a nice flow to it, and the pictures are beautiful.
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Jane Yolen is a novelist, poet, fantasist, journalist, songwriter, storyteller, folklorist, and children’s book author who has written more than three hundred books. Her accolades include the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, the Kerlan Award, two Christopher Awards, and six honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in Massachuset ...more
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