Wednesday, September 9, 2009
BookLook #2 "The Last Unicorn"
“The Last Unicorn”
Do you still love fairytales? I have just reread a great one that was a favorite of my children twenty years ago. “The Last Unicorn” is more famous as a favorite children’s movie but the book is, as always, even better than the animated video. The book written in 1968 by Peter S. Beagle combined with the classic 1982 movie in a 25th Anniversary DVD edition will also be a great Christmas gift this year. I’m not a movie reviewer, but if I was I would be sure to mention the movie is G rated and there are great songs by America, voices by Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, and Angela Lansbury… oh wait, this is a book review column.
The story begins in the unicorn’s wood where everything is magical and eternal. Spring is the only season as trees and flowers bloom under blue skies. But the unicorn overhears a conversation between two hunters as they pass through her woods wondering aloud if unicorns still exist. The unicorn bravely leaves her beautiful sanctuary on a quest to find out if there are any unicorns left in the world. She is joined in her search by a cast of characters that bring her the new experiences of friendship, love, and even humor.
Schmendrick is a bumbling but brave magician who is cursed to wander until he finds his true magic. The peasant Molly Grue leaves a band of not-so-merry men in the forest and adds an earthly anchor to the three travelers with her practical and wise ways. The menacing King Haggard is a lesson in the pain and suffering caused by selfishness and greed. It is a simply told tale of a quest and of conquering fear and self doubt to fill our destiny.
It will be a great read aloud for Mike’s boys at bedtime, and then they can watch the movie. His Christmas book gift would seem to be for his sons Dawson and Haydon but it is really for him. It will be wrapped in the hope that they will share this treasured fairytale together and Mike will have his memories to add to the reading experience.