Twelve Dancing Unicorns by Alissa Heyman (Author), Justin Gerard (Illustrator) is officially released next week but is already shipping.
And can I just say, wow, I never expected a Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling with unicorns? But then again, I never expected a duck one either--see The Twelve Princesses by Gordon Fitchett--so I shouldn't be surprised. I am pretty sure I prefer the unicorns over the ducks any day. I know a few girls who will love this already--my 4-year-old niece, for instance, who replies when asked, "Unicorns are my favorite animal." She hasn't learned to like ligers yet. (Yes, I just referenced Napoleon Dynamite. It happens.)
The illustrations--what few I could find--the two here are from NPR's Tumblr account--are very lush. There is no text, so I can't comment on that. I haven't seen the book in person. But I love the illustrations and am tempted because the book is significantly discounted right now--almost bargain priced for a hardcover picture book. But I have to rely on review copies when publishers think of me. The SurLaLune budget has to be maintained to keep us all happy around here.
Once upon a time, a king owned twelve enchanting unicorns that he locked up with golden chains. But every morning, he'd find the beautiful creatures peacefully asleep in their corral—with their chains shattered. Puzzled, he promised a reward to anyone who could reveal the unicorns' secret. With the help of a magic cloak, a little girl sets out to discover the truth . . . and help the special unicorn that she loves the most. This charming variation on “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” stars a delightfully spirited heroine and twelve magical unicorns.
Alissa Heyman is a freelance writer who edited The Best Poems of the English Language (Mud Puddle Books). Her poems have appeared in the St. Petersburg Review, Lyric, and Quarto, and she has adapted The Big Book of… series for Sterling Publishing, which includes The Big Book of Horror, The Big Book of Fairies, and The Big Book of Pirates. Alissa lives in New York City where she also curates the Perfect Sense poetry reading series at the Cornelia Street Café.
Justin Gerard has done illustration for DreamWorks, Warner Brothers, Disney, HarperCollins, Penguin, Little, Brown, and others. The Society of Illustrators featured his illustration “Beowulf and Grendel” in the 50th Annual of American Illustration, from his IPPY Award-winning book, Beowulf, Book I: Grendel the Ghastly. Justin lives in Greenville, SC.