“How Angel Horses Become Unicorns” by Diana Tuorto

“How Angel Horses Become Unicorns” by Diana Tuorto 1000 1000 Reader Views Kids

How Angel Horses Become Unicorns

Diana Tuorto
Independently Published (2020)
ISBN:  979-8695661934
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (05/2024)

Luna is Gianna’s favorite horse.  As readers, we get to experience all the things Luna loves. From making funny faces to playing dress up, getting brushed, giving kisses, and getting treats.  While Luna loves carrots, apples, and sugar cubes, what she would really like is donuts and cupcakes, but those things can make horses sick.  One day Gianna discovers Luna lying down.  And while it is normal for horses to sleep lying down, Luna looked to be uncomfortable, limping, and feverish. 

While they tried to treat Luna, she ultimately joined the unicorn forest with wings and all the donuts she could want.  With her purple-blue horn and sticky donut-filled dream kisses, Luna will be with Gianna forever, even if she isn’t there physically in the barn anymore.

Death and heartbreak are extremely hard topics for parents to cover with their children.  However, books like “How Angel Horses Become Unicorns” by Diana Tuorto help to guide a more productive conversation, complete with an imaginative after-life for young readers.  The things Luna loved to do with Gianna, the unicorn dress-up she loved to play, and the donuts she so desperately wanted to have, now become possible.  The pain is gone and the ability to forever be a unicorn and eat donuts awaits. 

Author Diana Tuorto has crafted a book for parents and kids alike as they approach the death of beloved animals.  Despite the unexpected and rather quick onset of pain, Tuorto navigates a difficult topic in an understandable way.  Without overlooking the heartbreak, tears, and devastation, “How Angel Horses Become Unicorns” is a great resource and a beautiful story.

Illustrator Sam Vella uses vivid and detailed black-and-white artistry to accompany Tuorto’s words.  Adding to the world of imagination, fun, love, and sadness, these realistic images bring the story to life.  With a page dedicated to the words and another simply to the pictures, young readers can easily follow along and use Vella’s illustrations to further understand the words within.

“How Angel Horses Become Unicorns” stirs emotion with its black-and-white portrayal of the sad loss of Luna.  But Gianna’s memory of Luna and all her favorite things lives on in her dreams as Tuorto and Vella give parents and children aged 4 to 7 a memorable story for times of loss, grief, and sadness.

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