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Claire and the Unicorn Happy Ever After    by B. G. Hennessy & Susan Mitchell order for
Claire and the Unicorn Happy Ever After
by B. G. Hennessy
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

The questions posed by children sound simple but are often profound. While reading a bedtime story that ends with the clichéd, 'And they lived happily ever after,' Claire asks her father what it was that made them happy forever. He responds that he does not know and asks her to think about it overnight.

That night, Claire takes a dreamlike journey with her unicorn, Capricorn, and asks those she meets what makes them happy. Not surprisingly, everyone has different answers. The Library Fairy only wants a good book and some peace and quiet. Sir Frog says he would be happy with big juicy flies. All Miss Princess wants is a soft bed. And the Fairy Godmother tells Claire that in all her years of being in the wish-granting business, she has never heard the same wish twice.

When Claire wakes up, she tells her father what she has learned: that what makes you happy ever after depends on who you are. There is no one answer. The book is rich in language: Before Claire sets off on her nighttime journey, she is 'Right in the place about three miles from being awake and two blocks from being asleep'. The illustrations are vivid, luminous, and highly detailed, their dreamlike quality matching Claire's nocturnal wanderings.

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