Thanks so much to Donna Galanti for sending me the second book in this appealing not-quite-middle-grade series.
Unicorn Island: Secret Beneath the Sand by Donna Galanti. Illustrated by Bethany Stancliffe. Epic!, 2022. Review copy kindly sent by the author.
Unicorn Island: Secret Beneath the Sand
by Donna Galanti. Illustrated by Bethany Stancliffe.
Review copy kindly sent by the author.
Sam’s adventures continue in this second book. Sam is now happy living with her uncle, and especially happy with their regular trips to Unicorn Island. She’s good friends with Verny the wyvern and Barloc, the young unicorn she helped save in the first book. But the happy perfection is already cracking – earthquakes on the island are leaving huge cracks in the earth, while the unicorns’ beautiful horns are shrinking. Can Sam and her best friend Tuck figure out what’s going on in time to save the unicorns? Can Uncle Mitch (once again very grumpy in the face of these problems) open up enough to let Tuck’s veterinarian mother help? This book contains a misunderstood monster, a big revelation, and hope for Uncle Mitch’s long-missing wife.
Secret Beneath the Sand has even more to attract young unicorn lovers, as the magical creatures are present from the very beginning of the book instead of appearing halfway through. The simple vocabulary, fast action, and frequent beautiful pictures in full color keep the story moving at a pace to entice newly confident readers, with enough plot complexity and emotional resonance to keep it from talking down to them. This series continues to be a great choice for budding fantasy readers.