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The Unicorn and the Lake
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The Unicorn and the Lake

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  168 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
"The magical combination of Mayer and Hague will make this a popular book for years to come".--American Bookseller Pick of the Lists. 30 full-color illustrations.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 1st 1992 by Puffin Books (first published 1982)
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(showing 1-30)
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Nov 19, 2009 Ann rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Unicorn fans and fans of the Craft duo
I totally appreciate Mayer's approach to this book, building the story from three sources (explained at the front, along with a very interesting background on unicorns and their place in ancient stories and beliefs).

While I wasn't amazed by the story's style, I could appreciate it. And I thought some of the illustrations were quite beautiful.

For me, I prefer works by the Craft duo for beauty in both story and words, and but this was along a similar vein. If you like unicorns, I think you'll enjo
Jan 19, 2009 Stuart rated it it was amazing
My absolute favorite children's book of all time! Totally responsible for my obsession with fantasy creatures, unicorns in particular, and perhaps my fear of snakes to boot. Beautifully illustrated and still very poignant.
Joseph Glass
Apr 18, 2013 Joseph Glass rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
This book is a piece of pure magic from my childhood. I'm deeply contented when I can read a picture book and still feel the same sense of wonder even after so many years. Priceless.
Jul 06, 2017 Miriam rated it liked it
Shelves: picture
Anti-snake propaganda.
Once upon a time all of the land lived in harmony. The mystical unicorn lived among all other animals in harmony and the land was fruitful. But due to constant threats from hunters the unicorn eventually had to leave. Once he disappeared the animals began to forget how to talk to others besides their own kind. Along with this forgetfulness came evil in the form of a snake. The snake attacked the other animals. Some animals were able to defend themselves. Others fled the threat of the snake. Duri ...more
Feb 03, 2014 Kristi rated it really liked it
this was one of my favorite books as a child, and like all of the other books that i REALLY hope my children love, i placed it on the shelf without introduction, hoping they would go to it on their own.

I placed this on their bookshelf months ago, and they both noticed it a few days later, flipped through the pages, and then put it back. Alas.

However, over the past week, they've asked me to read this to them no less than 15 times. They both cuddle up on my lap, and I read the book and they ask q
Mar 18, 2012 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, 2012
This is a fascinating tale that describes how a unicorn who is forced to live up in the mountains (due to human hunters) saves the animals in the lower lands by first procuring water, ridding the lands of an evil serpent, then rendering the lake water safe to drink after the serpent poisoned it. The illustrations are colorful and depict the magical creature in all of its glory. The story is a bit lengthy for younger children, but we enjoyed reading it together.
Jan 31, 2013 Jonathan rated it it was ok
Shelves: 566-picturebooks
This book is an iteration of the legend of the unicorn based, in part, off of the author's interpretation of the tale told by a series of tapestries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While I think the premise of the story is sound and interesting, the result is dark and antiquated. Unfortunately, I found the book to be too esoteric for my taste, but it might serve as a decent introductory picture book for children interested in fantasy and unicorn legend.
Dec 30, 2011 Jewels rated it liked it
Shelves: library
Years ago I became enamored with an artist named Michael Hague. I came across his work because I was also enamored with unicorns. Ms. Mayer wove this children's story from three historical works, and I love the fact that she did so to bring a bit of myth and folklore alive for a younger generation. I now get to turn this lovely bit of art over to my daughter, and I hope she will keep it for the next generation too.
Erma Talamante
Dec 13, 2014 Erma Talamante rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-s
A beautiful, allegorical story of a unicorn and the animals in the woods. The paintings emphasize the beauty and goodness of the unicorn, and the terrifying image of the serpent. Beautiful for the frameable images, the poetic story, and the deeper meaning. A great story to share with younger children that does not require extra explanations.
Stephanie A.
Beautiful illustrations and a powerful childhood memory. For a long time, I felt certain in my heart that we had pure water to drink because of the long-ago magic of the unicorn dipping his horn into a lake. And even as a child, I felt profound sadness that the unicorn was too magical to live among the regular animals and had to vanish far away in remote mountain locations.
Mar 08, 2012 Paula rated it it was ok
A longer story about how there is magic around when the unicorn is.
When a serpent poisons the lake where all the animals drink, only the unicorn has the power to save them.
Rita Varian
Dec 31, 2012 Rita Varian rated it liked it
This I would drool over when I was a little girl who loved horses (and unicorns). This was before getting drooled on BY horses.
Oct 20, 2013 Emily rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Beautiful story, beautiful illustrations. One of my favorite books as a child, and I love reading it to my kids now.
Andrea Labonte
Oct 27, 2012 Andrea Labonte rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
great book.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Gorgeous illustrations!
Jun 07, 2012 Bree rated it did not like it
Shelves: fairy-tales, horses
Really scary serpent thing would give my daughter nightmares.
Not really that well-written either
May 28, 2012 Beverly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
wonderful story and gorgeous illustrations
Roberta rated it it was amazing
Nov 13, 2011
Closet rated it it was amazing
Sep 06, 2008
Kaila Opal
Kaila Opal rated it it was amazing
Mar 27, 2015
Rosa Rae
Rosa Rae rated it it was amazing
Aug 15, 2013
Melissa rated it it was amazing
May 07, 2009
Guen rated it it was amazing
Aug 10, 2015
Archana rated it really liked it
Apr 10, 2017
Brandi rated it it was amazing
Aug 12, 2014
Lynne rated it liked it
Sep 15, 2014
Stacy rated it it was amazing
Jul 13, 2008
Brandice rated it really liked it
Sep 20, 2012
R. G. Nairam
R. G. Nairam rated it really liked it
Jun 03, 2017
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Marianna Mayer lives in Roxbury, Connecticut.
"I see folktales and myths as humankind's first stories," says Marianna Mayer. "They are a kind of collective dreaming, filled with timeless symbols and images we can all relate to, regardless of age or culture. And, much as an oyster must be disturbed by a grain of sand in order for the pearl to be created, I often choose to retell stories in which I
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