Ilja Karsikas: The Unicorn

“At times the unicorn glowed, bright and supernatural, at times it faded until invisible as a ghost.”

Author: Ilja Karsikas
Finnish original: Yksisarvinen
Publisher: S&S, 2022
Genre: illustrated children’s fiction
Number of pages: 48 pp.
Reading material:  Finnish original, English translation

Rights sold: South Korea, Korean Studies International

At the beginning of the week, Dad is always the best. But on weekends he goes out with his friends to hunt the Unicorn. Why can’t Dad stay at home and have fun with the family?

Moa decides to take action. Maybe Dad will forget the Unicorn if Moa destroys everything that reminds Dad of it? Soon bottles of the colorful elixir used during the hunt swirl down the drain–along with a bottle of home-made raspberry juice. But a bottle of juice is small price to pay to have Dad spend his evenings at home and be in a good mood in the morning.

The Unicorn is a warm-hearted picture book about complicated conditions at home, family life and love. It is based on the author’s own memories and childhood experiences in a lovely, caring, completely ordinary family.

“Mom and Dad always mess everything up,” Moa huffed to herself as she helped the ants with their construction project. Even having fun felt hard. In that instant, something flashed past, racing from the forest toward the rock. Moa hesitated for a moment, then ran after it. The Unicorn was fast, and its sweet, pungent scent hung over the whole woods.”

Also available:
Storm and Light (2023)
Under the Moon (2020)

About the author:
Ilja Karsikas