My cousin's son introduced me to this book. Carrying the entire series in his arms he placed them on the kitchen table and sorted them in order then read each title aloud to me. "This book looks like it should be for girls but I don't care and I like it. I like unicorns," he proclaimed then, gently, offered me the first book in the series and said, "You can read this if you would like."
I thanked him and kept the book by me while the kids ran about. I had every intention of reading the book not only because I had been given permission by a child to read his book (that's an offer that you don't just let slide. It's similar to a toddler asking you to talk into a plastic phone - you just do it) but because I've realized I haven't done many reviews for children or independent reader books in recent months. Thing is, I've been working through my bookshelf of unread books and they are obviously not very child-friendly.
Well fear not! I have a review for you about this darling tale and the introduction to the series The Unicorn's Secret. While the kids settled down before going to bed I sat and read the book and finished it while my cousin's little boy was in his bath. Yes, you can read it that quickly. I think for a child just picking up on reading on their own it's a perfect fit: the chapters aren't very long and they're sprinkled with detailed drawings depicting different scenes. For an adult who may be reading the book aloud, you could probably finish this off in a night if your little one is willing to stay awake for an hour or so while you read.
You are introduced to Heart, an orphan girl taken in by a local man who doesn't very much care for her. She's a sweet child who does what is expected of her and has, as indicated by her name, a great heart. When she comes across a white horse she adopts it and names it Avamir. With the determination that only the young seem to have, Heart takes care of Avamir and raises her back to health only to discover her horse is pregnant! Unfortunately, when the colt is born Heart's adopted father decides to sell both mother and baby. Heart, frightened of losing them, makes a life changing decision that most children will find both fascinating and a little frightening - in only the best of ways.
If my cousin's son is any indication this isn't just a book for girls. Boys can enjoy it as well so long as they are open minded enough or enjoy tales of castles and horses turned into unicorns. I didn't read the rest of the series as I was busy visiting with my cousin however, according to his son, the rest of the books are "great!" and "very good!"