Picture Book Review: Unicorn Day by Diana Murray (Words) and Luke Flowers (Pictures)

Unicorn Day by Diana Murray (Words) and Luke Flowers (Pictures)

Review

Note: I did not receive any compensation from either the publisher or the author(s) to read and review the book discussed below. As of the time of the writing of this review, I do not belong to any affiliate programs which compensate me for sales arising from links included on this page or on any page created and maintained by The Voracious Bibliophile. Links are provided as a courtesy to the author(s) to help them continue producing their works. I am not responsible for the content and/or claims contained on sites linked away from The Voracious Bibliophile and the inclusion of such links do not imply endorsement on my part.

Bright and rambunctious with clever wordplay to encourage kids and their adults to sing along, with Unicorn Day you can’t go wrong!

This book has some of the best illustrations I’ve ever seen in a picture book. Bright and rambunctious with clever wordplay to encourage kids and their adults to sing along, with Unicorn Day you can’t go wrong! You see what I mean? It’s infectious. Another thing I loved about this book is the way it encourages tolerance and acceptance of those who are different.

During the celebrations, a horse masquerading as a unicorn is discovered when their horn falls off, and the horse starts to leave in shame. It really tugs at your heartstrings, especially if you’ve ever been ostracized yourself. The unicorns, not wanting to lose a friend, help their new friend reattach their horn and the celebration continues, adding non-hooved friends along the way to celebrate everyone’s individuality and uniqueness. Unicorn Day is for everyone!

Would it be too much for me to sing along with the unicorns, proclaiming proudly, “I’m on the right track, baby, I was horn this way.”

Also, it did not escape my notice that one of the unicorns featured on the book’s cover has a rainbow horn that looks not-too-subtly like a Pride flag. Would it be too much for me to sing along with the unicorns, proclaiming proudly, “I’m on the right track, baby, I was horn this way.” You see what I did there?

Unicorn Day was published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in June 2019 and is available to purchase wherever books are sold.

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Poem for the Day: November 29th, 2021

Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems 2007-2010 by Adrienne Rich

Tonight No Poetry Will Serve by Adrienne Rich

Saw you walking barefoot
taking a long look
at the new moon's eyelid

later spread
sleep-fallen, naked in your dark hair
asleep but not oblivious
of the unslept unsleeping
elsewhere

Tonight I think
no poetry
will serve

Syntax of rendition:

verb pilots the plane
adverb modifies action

verb force-feeds noun
submerges the subject
noun is choking
verb disgraced goes on doing

now diagram the sentence


2007

© 2011 Adrienne Rich. Today’s poem is taken from Rich’s collection Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems 2007-2010, which was published by W.W. Norton in 2011 and was nominated for the National Book Award for Poetry.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Poem for the Day: November 28th, 2021

There Will Come Soft Rains by Sara Teasdale

(War Time)

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

Sara Teasdale (1884-1933), while frequently excluded from mention in conversations surrounding early twentieth century American poetry, was critically acclaimed and lauded by both her peers and the public alike during her lifetime. Her deeply personal and heartfelt poems charted the changing inner landscape of a woman living through one of the most turbulent periods in American history, and we would do well to re-examine her impact on her contemporaries as well as her successors. You can read more about her life and work here.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Poem for the Day: November 26th, 2021

Diving into the Wreck: Poems 1971-1972 by Adrienne Rich

Diving into the Wreck by Adrienne Rich

First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Cousteau with his
assiduous team
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.

There is a ladder.
The ladder is always there
hanging innocently
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.
Otherwise
it is a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.

I go down.
Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me
the blue light
the clear atoms
of our human air.
I go down.
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder
and there is no one
to tell me when the ocean
will begin.

First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story
the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.

And now: it is easy to forget
what I came for
among so many who have always
lived here
swaying their crenellated fans
between the reefs
and besides
you breathe differently down here.

I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed

the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and sway into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.

This is the place.
And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body.
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold.
I am she: I am he

whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes
whose breasts still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies
obscurely inside barrels
half-wedged and left to rot
we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course
the water-eaten log
the fouled compass

We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
in which
our names do not appear.

© 1973 Adrienne Rich and W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. “Diving into the Wreck” originally appeared as part of Rich’s collection Diving into the Wreck: Poems 1971-1972, which was published in 1973 by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. Rich was awarded the National Book Award for Poetry in 1974 for this collection.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Poem for the Day: November 25th, 2021

Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

© 1995 Naomi Shihab Nye. “Kindness” originally appeared as part of Nye’s collection Words Under the Words: Selected Poems, which was published by Eighth Mountain Press in 1995.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Poem for the Day: November 24th, 2021

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

This poem is in the public domain. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” is one of Robert Frost’s best-known and most-loved poems. It was written in 1922 and included in his Pulitzer Prize-winning collection New Hampshire, which was published by Henry Holt in 1923.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Poem for the Day: November 23rd, 2021

Self-Compassion by James Crews

My friend and I snickered the first time
we heard the meditation teacher, a grown man,
call himself honey, with a hand placed
over his heart to illustrate how we too
might become more gentle with ourselves
and our runaway minds. It’s been years
since we sat with legs twisted on cushions,
holding back our laughter, but today
I found myself crouched on the floor again,
not meditating exactly, just agreeing
to be still, saying honey to myself each time
I thought about my husband splayed
on the couch with aching joints and fever
from a tick bite—what if he never gets better?—
or considered the threat of more wildfires,
the possible collapse of the Gulf Stream,
then remembered that in a few more minutes,
I’d have to climb down to the cellar and empty
the bucket I placed beneath a leaky pipe
that can’t be fixed until next week. How long
do any of us really have before the body
begins to break down and empty its mysteries
into the air? Oh honey, I said—for once
without a trace of irony or blush of shame—
the touch of my own hand on my chest
like that of a stranger, oddly comforting
in spite of the facts.

© 2021 James Crews. “Self-Compassion” was originally published by the Academy of American Poets for their Poem-a-Day series on November 17th, 2021. Crews is the editor of the forthcoming collection The Path to Kindness: Poems of Connection and Joy, which is due to be released in April 2022 by Storey Publishing and is now available to preorder wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Poem for the Day: November 21st, 2021

Winter Journal: Threshed Blue, Cardings, Dim Tonsils by Emily Wilson

stripped batting of cloud
glimpsed ligaments
dusk coming up under
lithographic, nib-hatchings
instruments click
the fine-sprung locust
replicate dinge along hill-lines
tailings of umber, the rust smudge
There is still that hemmed ocean of oaks
the various reds, the somehow
silver cast over the brown-gold
the under-brushed shadows
How can there be more of their dispensing
into air?
The night-openings of the trees
The thousand clefts into
Their corridors shiver and merge and piece apart
There is no one beside what was once river
Only the carbons incoming
accreting in leaves
Love of old oaks unencumbering
Root-beauties brought through
crude sieves of bare trees
the few fastened leaves
Those pods are like tongues or like sickles
The blades have been pulled from their sheaths
The backs of the clouds now upturned
They herd from pink seas
They make their untouchable stream
through regions of steep emptiness
against which the trees have their gestures
Drop down, drop down toward me
your little sleek scars
Make your bed in rough cedars
clangor of darks numbering in
clusters of trunks and spoked lungs
the thistles that work at the gums

© 2001 Emily Wilson and Iowa City: University of Iowa Press. “Winter Journal: Threshed Blue, Cardings, Dim Tonsils” originally appeared in Wilson’s collection The Keep, which was published in 2001 by University of Iowa Press.

Emily Wilson studied at Harvard University and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has taught at the latter, as well as at Colby College, Grinnell College, and the University of Montana. Wilson is the author of four poetry collections: The Keep (University of Iowa Press, 2001); Morpho Terrestre (2006), a limited edition book featuring artwork by Sara Langworthy; Micrographia (University of Iowa Press, 2010); and The Great Medieval Yellows (Canarium Books, 2015).

Writing for Boston Review, James Galvin said of Wilson: “Generous in her spareness, clear in her complexity, matching wildness of diction with precision of sense, nervousness with nerve, her poems are not written for analysis, perhaps not even for approval. As we watch poetical heresies turn into orthodoxies, it becomes clear, especially in a poet like Wilson, that only originality, a signature style, remains steadfastly heretical.”

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Poem for the Day: November 17th, 2021

A Coney Island of the Mind: Poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

In Golden Gate Park That Day… by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

In Golden Gate Park that day
a man and his wife were coming along
thru the enormous meadow
which was the meadow of the world
He was wearing green suspenders
and carrying an old beat-up flute
in one hand
while his wife had a bunch of grapes
which she kept handing out
individually
to various squirrels
as if each
were a little joke

And then the two of them came on
thru the enormous meadow
which was the meadow of the world
and then
at a very still spot where the trees dreamed
and seemed to have been waiting thru all time
for them
they sat down together on the grass
without looking at each other
and ate oranges
without looking at each other
and put the peels
in a basket which they seemed
to have brought for that purpose
without looking at each other

And then
he took his shirt and undershirt off
but kept his hat on
sideways
and without saying anything
fell asleep under it
And his wife just sat there looking
at the birds which flew about
calling to each other
in the stilly air
as if they were questioning existence
or trying to recall something forgotten

But then finally
she too lay down flat
and just lay there looking up
at nothing
yet fingering the old flute
which nobody played
and finally looking over
at him
without any particular expression
except a certain awful look
of terrible depression

© 1958 Lawrence Ferlinghetti. “In Golden Gate Park That Day…” first appeared in Ferlinghetti’s collection A Coney Island of the Mind: Poems, which was published in 1958 by New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Quote for the Day: November 13th, 2021

The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary by Mark Sanborn and John C. Maxwell (Foreword)

…one of the most exciting things about life is that we awake each day with the ability to reinvent ourselves. No matter what happened yesterday, today is a new day. While we can’t deny the struggles and setbacks, neither should we be restrained by them.

Mark Sanborn, The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary

The more you grow as a person, the more you’ll have to share with others. Think of personal growth as the modeling clay of your reinvention. The more clay you have, the larger and more detailed a sculpture you can create. The more you learn—not abstract knowledge, but practical education—the more raw material you will have to shape your personal work of art.

Mark Sanborn, The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary

Once again, I’ve cheated. Today, I decided to share two quotes from the same work on the same day. I love The Fred Factor. I don’t normally put a lot of stock in leadership-y books that are basically How to Be an Incognito Republican 101, but The Fred Factor is the real deal. It is insightful, succinct, and free of self-congratulatory pablum. Plus, my name is in the title. What more could you possibly want from a book? The Fred Factor can be purchased wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.