Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great (Unicorn #1)

by Bob Shea (Author) Bob Shea (Illustrator)

Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great (Unicorn #1)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: Unicorn

Ever since Unicorn moved into the neighborhood, Goat has been feeling out of sorts. Goat thought his bike was cool-until he saw that Unicorn could fly to school! Goat made marshmallow squares that almost came out right, but Unicorn made it rain cupcakes! Unicorn is such a show-off, how can Goat compete?

When Goat and Unicorn share a piece of pizza, Goat learns that being a unicorn might not be all it's cracked up to be. And when Unicorn shows his admiration for Goat, it looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
Even unicorns want to eat something besides glitter now and then. Brilliant in execution and hysterical in dialogue; Shea's pretty great, too.

Publishers Weekly

How can an ordinary goat compete when a unicorn with magical powers moves to town? The goat bakes marshmallow squares. The unicorn can make it rain cupcakes! The goat tries a magic trick. The unicorn can turn things into gold! It's no coincidence that the goat's accomplishments look like those of the average second-grader; his sulky tone sounds like one, too ("Dopey Unicorn! Thinks he's so great!"). It turns out that the unicorn actually has some goat envy ("Whoa! What is up with your hooves? Those things are out of control!"). Now, it's the goat's turn to show a little nonchalance: "Oh, these? These bad boys are 'cloven.' It means they're split at the end." "Stupid regular hooves," mutters the unicorn. Shea (Cheetah Can't Lose) embellishes his characters' blobby bodies with black line accents and, in the case of the unicorn, sparkles, stars, and rainbows. Now firm friends, unicorn and goat fantasize about defeating evil with their respective superpowers: "Taste my cloven justice!" yells the goat. It's a great study in grass-is-greener envy management and a nonstop giggle generator. Ages 2-6. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (May)

Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

K-Gr 2--Rainbows, smiling cupcakes, and flying unicorns in one picture book can be a recipe for a cutesy-wootsy disaster, but not so in this hilarious friendship story. Nothing has gone right for Goat since Unicorn arrived. He seems to best Goat in every way, including making it rain cupcakes. "Dopey Unicorn! Thinks he's so great!...Look at me! I'm Unicorn! I think I'm so-o-o cool!" the goat cries, in full-on Willems's Pigeon mode, while sporting a plunger in mockery of Unicorn's horn. However, when an unlikely scenario involving goat-cheese pizza brings the two together, Goat discovers that Unicorn isn't so full of himself after all-"Just look at your fantastic horn"; "Eh, it's just for show. All it's good for is pointing" -and they become fast friends. Shea's cartoon illustrations are perfectly suited to expressing the characters' varied emotions while keeping the story very tongue-in-cheek, with lots of giggle-worthy details. An ideal choice for fans of silliness.--Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NY

Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Bob Shea

Bob Shea has written and illustrated more than a dozen picture books, including Dinosaur vs. Bedtime, and is the author of Big Plans, illustrated by Lane Smith. His writing career began at Comedy Central, and his characters and animations have appeared on Nick Jr., Playhouse Disney, and PBS Kids.

Lane Smith is a four-time recipient of the New York Times Best Illustrated Book award and a two-time Caldecott Honor recipient, most recently for Grandpa Green. He is the author and illustrator of Abe Lincoln's Dream and It's a Book, which ahs been translated into over twenty languages, among many other books.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date
June 25, 2013
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV002090 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Farm Animals
JUV039140 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
JUV002270 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Dragons, Unicorns & Mythical
Library of Congress categories
E.B. White Read Aloud Award
Honor Book 2014 - 2014
Red Clover Award
Nominee 2015 - 2015
Buckaroo Book Award
Nominee 2015 - 2016
Colorado Children's Book Award
Nominee 2015 - 2015
Young Hoosier Book Award
Nominee 2016 - 2016

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