The Legend of the First Unicorn by Lari Don & Nataša Ilinčić


Published by Kelpies, an imprint of Floris Books, 2020.

Judging by the number of t-shirts, duvet covers and pencil cases adorned with unicorns, interest in these mythical creatures remains high. It’s nice, then, to read a book which focuses on something other than a unicorn’s cuteness. In The Legend of the First Unicorn, Lari Don draws on ancient Scottish folklore (I was unaware that the unicorn is Scotland’s national animal) to tell the story of the origins of the first unicorn.

The story centres around Donald, a young Scottish prince who has lost his smile. Everyone tries to cheer him up: his friends, the royal baker, the court bard… Still he remains unhappy. Then Hana, the magician’s daughter, uses her magic to create the pearly white creature of her dreams – a unicorn. She hopes that this magical beast will bring a smile to her friend’s face at last. It’s not until the children and the unicorn are pitted together against another, fiercer magical creature that Donald is able to find his smile once more. Friendship and loyalty have worked their magic.


The book is illustrated throughout in full colour. Nataša’s illustrations beautifully capture the majesty and strength of the unicorn. I also really liked the pages with swirling magic and powdered starlight.

I enjoyed The Legend of the First Unicorn – a tale steeped in the tradition of Scottish oral history and full of wonder and magic. 

Rating: 💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 6+

Thank you to Floris Books for sending me this book to review.

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