“Utterly (uni)corny, this book about acceptance is fun but overly idealized.”
Cornelius J. Sparklesteed is a hatter who lives in Hoofington—a town with an extreme dislike of all things unicorn, although otherwise, quite nice. As Cornelius prepares for the exciting honor to perform in the grand holiday show, Hoofpalooza, he runs into several friends around town and gives them little boosts of positivity, as well as a nudge to push the boundaries: wilder flavors, more rainbows, and a little kazoo action. Resolved to unveil his true identity at the show, Cornelius declares he is a unicorn during his big finish. While the facial expressions of the crowd of horses suggest that Cornelius’s revelation might be met with something other than acceptance, somewhat unexpectedly—and with a distance from most realities that is perhaps harmfully large—his announcement is met with resounding acceptance as all the horses don horns in a full about-face of Hoofington’s anti-unicorn policy. Tharp digitally illustrates the tale in a bright and energetic fashion, with frequent resorts to slapstick humor. While Cornelius’ profession as a hatter is cleverly ideal for someone with a horn to hide, the narrative gives away almost immediately to its readers his true identity, which lessens the story’s intrigue. However, the message about being oneself and letting uniqueness shine is all positive and showcases the impact that one individual spreading kindness can have.
An inspiring picture book, Jason Tharp’s It’s Okay To Be A Unicorn features a unicorn pretending to be a horse―until he learns to embrace his true self.
Cornelius J. Sparklesteed is known among all the other horses in Hoofington for his beautiful and creative handmade hats. But Cornelius is hiding a secret under his own tall, pointy hat: He’s really a unicorn.
Hoofington is a friendly place, but its horses pass on lots of mean rumors about unicorns. When Cornelius is chosen to perform for this year’s Hoofapalooza, will he find the courage to show everyone his unicorniness?
It’s Okay To Be A Unicorn is an inspiring story about the rainbow magic of kindness.
If the horses in Hoofington had been looking closely, they might have noticed some clues that Cornelius was a unicorn. Next time you read the book, look carefully at the illustrations. What clues can you find?
Cornelius is a very creative unicorn, and as he shares his talents with those around him, everyone’s end products improve. Who does Cornelius help throughout the book? Do you notice the way that he gives construction feedback, not criticism? Do they incorporate his suggestions? What talents do you have? How can you share them?
Jason Tharp has dreamed of being an author and inventing crazy creatures since he was a kid. Being an obsessive daydreamer and doodler has led him to create many licensed properties, write books, and design clothing and various other products. Jason’s story proves that with hard work, determination, and a sprinkle of magic, anything is possible. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his super-awesome wife and kids, plus one extremely fat kitty.
My Fellow Unicorns, All the things that others say that make you "different" or "weird" are *your* magic. Your life is *your*story to write; and I hope yours is filled with magic. And to John, what can I neigh?! You're haw-some. Couldn't have done this without you, thanks!