This weekend I picked up a wonderful children’s book called Nobody Rides the Unicorn. This treasure was buried in a thrift store, on sale for only 99 cents. So I snatched it, brought it home and read it on the couch like a kid. It reminded me so much of my favorite children’s story Peach & Blue because of its graceful imagery and somewhat serious theme. It’s full of stunning illustrations that are dark with hazy earth tones (almost fuzzy) completed in the impressionist style. I kind of like Amazon’s summary of the book:
“Zoe is a poor, orphaned beggar girl living on the outskirts of the kingdom of Joppardy. She is also the quietest, gentlest girl in the land which is exactly what the king is looking for. He needs the horn of a unicorn and, according to the king’s (evil) adviser Doctor Slythe, only sweet young girls can trap the fierce and elusive beasts. The king tricks Zoe into entering the deep forest and luring a unicorn with her innocent song…
His coat is like snowflakes
Woven with silk.
When he goes galloping
He flows like milk.
His life is all gentle
And his heart is bold.
His horn is magical,
Nobody rides the unicorn.
He grazes under a secret sun.
His understanding is so great
That he forgives us, every one.
Nobody Rides the Unicorn.
His mind is peaceful as the grass.
He is the loveliest one of all
And he lives behind the waterfall.
Just as a unicorn puts his head in her lap to sleep, hundreds of men attack and trap the beautiful animal. Zoe, furious at the deception, helps set the unicorn free and the “little nobody” is banished from the kingdom. With nowhere else to turn, she wanders off to find her unicorn.”
At the very end of the book, the unicorn asks:
“Tell me my kind friend, who are you?”
Zoe said, “Me, I’m nobody.”
“Climb on my back, kind Nobody,” said the unicorn with his eyes. “For Nobody rides the unicorn.”