A Kid for Two Farthings: A Novel by Wolf Mankowitz
Wolf Mankowitz captures the innocence of childhood without dramatizing or sentimentalizing it. He also captures life in the East End of London, where he himself grew up, at a point when poverty of means was not accompanied by poverty of spirit.
A slim volume, with only the dramas of everyday life, A Kid for Two Farthings is life seen by Joe, the year before he is enrolled in school. Joe's world is still populated primarily by adults, each with their own dreams and troubles, but rarely too troubled to nourish in Joe his own dreams.
Joe's dreams revolve around unicorns and Africa, where his father has gone to seek work. When he buys a sickly baby goat, believing it to be a unicorn, he is convinced his dreams, and those of his family and friends, will be granted by the unicorn. Some are; some aren't. Mankowitz does not give supernatural magic. He gives the natural sort, that comes about by faith and hard work and love.