Pip Bartlett's Guide to Unicorn Training, by Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce

Pip Bartlett's Guide to Unicorn Training, by Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce (Scholastic, Feb. 28 2017), is the second story of Pip and the magical creatures she's determined to become an expert on!  In Pip's world, creatures like unicorns are real, and she has the unusual ability of being able to communicate directly with them.  She also has an aunt who's a vet specializing in magical creatures, giving her a chance to get to know many of them up close (sometime too much so) and personal.

In her first appearance (Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures), among other adventures she met a most unusual unicorn.  Instead of being a vain, self-absorbed snot like just about every other show unicorn, Regent Maximus is a neurotic mess, afraid of everything.  Yet Regent Maximus' owner has entered him into the competition that's basically the Westminster Kennel Club for unicorns, and even though the unicorns aren't the only creatures on display, and Pip was looking forward to expand her magical creature studies, she feels responsible for helping poor R.M. cope.

But her attention is distracted when other unicorns are attacked; someone is cutting off unicorn tales!  Though this increases R.M.'s chance of placing in the competition, Pip is determined to do what she can to stop the perpetrator, and since she can talk directly to all the magical creatures, maybe she can find a witness....

A nice little side story is Pip's hyper-allergic friend, Tomas, who finds a magical creature that he can (if he can convince his parents) keep as a pet....

These are great books for the 8 or 9 year old who loves fantasy creatures, and for whom "magical vet"  sounds like just the best job in the world! The unicorns have lots of personality (even though its not all charming personality), there are lots more fun creatures introduced here, and the mystery is satisfactorily resolved (it's a do evil that good might come sort of crime, adding a smidge of ethical thought provoking-ness to the mix). 

Short answer--fun and charming!

disclaimer: review copy received from the publisher


  1. Anything unicorn is pretty irresistible. Thanks for telling me about this book.

    1. and these are amusing unicorns too, which makes it more fun!


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