Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “I Believe In Unicorns” as Want to Read:
I Believe In Unicorns
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

I Believe In Unicorns

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  447 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
In the local library, a boy becomes captivated by the stories he hears read aloud by the librarian, who sits astride a model unicorn. She tells them a story of when war came and a library was burned, and of how the children were able to rescue their beloved books and resurrect the library.
Paperback, 80 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Walker Books Ltd. (first published 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about I Believe In Unicorns, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about I Believe In Unicorns

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Unal Olgun
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read ‘Private Peaceful’ by Michael Morpurgo, I was delighted by Michael’s award winning book. A few years later, I came across ‘I believe in Unicorns’ at my local library. Thus, I decided to read and review it.

‘I believe in Unicorns’ is a creative book written by Michael Morpurgo. The book is very appealing to young audiences. The book grabs the reader’s attention with its unique, imaginative writing and its vivid visual illustrations which are like the icing on a cake.

The story is of a l
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Illustrator: Gary Blythe
First Published:2005

Set in war torn Europe with an unspecified location and time - all we know is it's post-Nazi (post-WWI?) - we witness the terror coming to a small village, and the courage of the people who save themselves, and their souls.

Beautifully, poignantly told, this book covers a lot of ground:
- book burning
- the fear of public speaking
- the joys of reading
- the loss of innocence, growing up
- fairy tales and mythology
- the joys of readin
Anne Hamilton
Although I love Michael Morpurgo's work, I'm never too sure how to rate it. I found this volume down with the pre-school picture books - because, well, I guess it's a hardcover illustrated books for kids. Where else would it go?

Although the library's deficient cataloguing system shouldn't really influence me, it does. Big time. It leaves me with the unsettling feeling that Morpurgo's books don't get the attention they deserve because the publisher has created something as unclassifiable as a uni
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Morpurgo'nun anlatımını ve öykülerine yerleştirdiği tarihsel arka planı seviyorum. Okurunu çocuk olduğu için enayi yerine koymayan, değerli bir yazar. Bu kitabı beni özellikle etkiledi. Tavsiye ederim :)
Feb 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I nice story about the importance of books in our lives. A boy reluctantly finds himself at the local library only to be entranced by the librarian as she tells stories while sitting on a large wooden unicorn. When their town is hit by war, the citizens join together to save the books from burning in the bombed library. Easy to like this book when you are a librarian!
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
It was ok; the story was nice, the pictures evocative. But it just didn't get there for me; I kept waiting for "the transforming power of stories" and somehow missed it? Either that or the description is super hyped. I'm going with the latter.
I read this last week in about 20 minutes whilst waiting for my son in the library - it may be short but its message about the power of stories to capture the imagination makes it a book that all parents and educators should read!
Joy Mottram
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My son told me I should read this. It made me cry. Beautiful.
Mrs G
I enjoyed it. A quick read about magic of story-telling. Will be perfect for my class library in year 3.
Julie Jobling
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was very good easy to read but had good meaning.
Seth Mottram
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Epic just epic
Kirsty Cabot
A lovely little story accompanied by very pretty illustrations.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's not often that a book will make me cry and this did a little. It was part of my booktubeathon and I picked it because it was short and I love Michael Morpurgo's writing. I hadn't read it in years and had forgotten what it was about but now I've reread it I've fallen back in love. Somehow in 76 pages Michael Morpurgo makes you completely fall in love with these characters. I think everyone should read this book it is a short, illustrated book but that doesn't mean it's just for children ever ...more
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: seo, owned, sv, ya
This book, in its few pages and easy language, took me through a number of feelings and emotions. I felt happy, sad, afraid, upset and finally elated.
It's indeed a book about the power of words and stories. Warning: not a toddlers book.
Victoria Zigler
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautifully written story, which is a perfect one for encouraging a love of books and the stories they contain.
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A truly magical short tale sharing the beauty of reading with a little 'Law of Attraction' message. Heart warming.
quotes#271390 I believe in unicorns

That same day I borrrowed my first book from the library. I chose Aesop's Fables because I like the animals in them, and because the Unicorn Lady had read them to us and I had loved them.
I read them aloud to Mother that night when she came up to say goodnight to me. I read to her instead of her reading to me. It was the first time I'd ever done that. Father came and listened at the doorway whilst I was reading. He clapped when I'd finished. "Magic, Tomas," he s
I just finished reading this to a class of 2nd graders. Towards the end of the school year, I like to play Russian Roulette by choosing books of unknown content off the shelf and spending a few weeks reading them to what I hope is an age appropriate grade.

When I began I Believe in Unicorns I assumed I would be reading a small fantasy novel somewhere along the lines of My Father's Dragon. Oops. This chapterless narrative begins with a little boy’s visit to the local library. He listens while the
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Above beauty and grace, a unicorn is a symbol of possibilities and magical perception of reality. The belief in these mythical creatures equals the faith in wisdom and renewal. Only those who have the power of rejuvenation and the innocent belief in hope will truly see a unicorn.

Michael Morpurgo’s I Believe in Unicorns explores the circumstances that can change a boy’s life and beliefs and the cathartic power stories can have. Eight-year-old Tomas Porec hated school, books and going to church. L
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful central premise, and written simply but lovingly. Some wonderful moments.... but the purposefully naive descriptions of war, emulating the Snow Goose, both of which are supremely patronising books.
The magic of the tale is completely let down by the setting, and the self-satisfied wisdom of the tale to be told. I could go on about the Guardianesque, smug condescension of the chattering classes which pollutes any tale of magic with it's post-modernist, knowing metrocentric, bubbl
Kyriakos Sorokkou

This is the last review. This is part of my reviews of books I'll give to my students on our Easter Class on Monday (tomorrow). These reviews will boost my reading challenge, and will prepare me for the post-Easter discussion for each book with each student.
Another great story by Michael Morpurgo. This time is about believing in unicorns, believing in the magic of books, believing in your dreams and believing in stories. A story set somewhere in Europe, and once again it has
Rebecca Barnett
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book, and now...

Tomas didn’t like books or stories. Stories were just for “Little Snotties”. He was happier clambering in the mountains like a goat or tobogganing with his Dad. That was until the Unicorn Lady came to town and reeled him in with her irresistible magic tales. But then disaster struck and put everything that mattered most in Tomas’s life in terrible danger… I Believe in Unicorns is a spellbinding and moving story by one of our greatest storytellers.

Touring nationally &
Sarah (treesofreverie) McMahon
This is a sweet little story! I hadn't really read the blurb before I read this so I wasn't so sure about this story at first but I warmed to it more towards the midway point. A lovely little message in this book for both the young and young at heart.
Andy Turner
Jan 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
A story of storytelling, books, libraries and war. Set in a time in the not so distant past in a place where war was near and came and remembers those with military power that ordered the destruction of books. Books and more can be destroyed in war, but people can be galvanised to into society and working together to preserve what is good. This is a lesson in the importance of books in education and of imagination and was the third of a set of books by the author that I am reading to my 7 and 5 ...more
Michael Morpurgo's I Believe in Unicorns has a very childlike, beautiful feel to it, packed along with stunning illustrations and an adequately-chronicled story. However...
It does not stand upright against other Morpurgo stories, unfortunately. It's too... It's hard to describe why it fails compared to the hundreds of other novels and novellas and short stories penned by the former Children's Laureate. But it just does. Resulting in a beautiful, sweet book. But it's only middle-of-the-road for
Hwee Goh
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A 3.75. This is a short, quick read and compared to some other Morpurgo books, this one is not so deep. Perhaps it's for a slightly younger audience. This book is not so much about unicorns but about the power of books and reading. I can't argue with that! The illustrations are simply gorgeous and why this book had to join my collection of Morpurgo's colour-illustrated books. It doesn't really stand with the luminaries though, in my mind. But it's good enough for any hardcore Morpurgo fan! Suita ...more
The Styling Librarian
Wow, this was a powerful one for me. Quite a fast read and honestly, I want to listen to the audiobook of it- the author provides the reading. I loved the touch the librarian in the story has on the community and on individual children's lives, how Michael Morpugo included magic with the reality of war, and he wrote a story about a young boy who hates going to church and school falls in love with storytelling and books. I would pair this book with The Librarian of Basra. I would suggest reading ...more
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wish I could give this 3.75 stars.

I wanted to start the year reading something with a bit of magic and whimsy. And it really would have been that if it were not for what was going on in my life when I read it. But by all means I do agree with as the back of the books says,
"I believe in Unicorns needs to be bought for every library, school and home . . . to share with as many children as we can so that they experience its magic for themselves." - The Bookseller.
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was quite a sad story but laced with hope. The writing was beautiful, the pictures were lovely and the whole thing just moved me. It doesn't just encourage kids to keep their imaginations alive but as it is mostly set in a library, it will get them reading more (I hope). My boyfriend read it too and he was also moved by it. This was a present from a friend and I'll love this forever. A story all children and grown ups should read!!!
I think I expected too much from this book - being a lover of unicorns and being put into a world with a boy who loved being in the mountains and forests... I guess I was seeing telltale signs that there would be real unicorns in this book haha.. Still a great book, as ever! I'd still recommend it to anybody, it's still a really cute short story, and it was cool seeing it in earlier stages in Singing for Mrs Pettigrew. Great book.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Book Review 3 1 6 Aug 03, 2014 03:49PM  
  • Tashi and the Giants (Tashi, #2)
  • The Bugalugs Bum Thief
  • Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans!
  • The Magical Garden of Claude Monet (Anholt's Artists)
  • Winnie-the-Pooh and Some Bees
  • Hero on a Bicycle
  • Operation Bunny (Wings & Co, #1)
  • Beware Of The Storybook Wolves
  • The Worst Witch to the Rescue (Worst Witch, #6)
  • Roly-Poly Egg
  • The Worst Band in the Universe
  • Mouse Bird Snake Wolf
  • Grape Thief
  • The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate
  • Withering-By-Sea (A Stella Montgomery Intrigue, #1)
  • The Bad Guys: Episode 1
  • Street Child
  • Darby
Michael Morpurgo is the author of many books for children, five of which have been made into films. He also writes his own screenplays and libretti for opera. Born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, in 1943, he was evacuated to Cumberland during the last years of the Second World War, then returned to London, moving later to Essex. After a brief and unsuccessful spell in the army, he took up teaching an ...more
More about Michael Morpurgo...

Share This Book

“stories make you think and dream; books make you want to ask questions” 64 likes
More quotes…