Razzle Dazzle Unicorn

illus. by Dana Simpson. 184p. (Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure). ebook available. glossary. Andrews McMeel. Sept. 2016. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781449477912.
Gr 3–5—Phoebe and Marigold Heavenly Nostrils navigate Thanksgiving, Christmas, the common cold, and summer camp in this new collection of the comic strip. Each one-page strip is comprised of three or four panels and stands alone: all end with a clear punch line. However, readers may comfortably read the book straight through for a continual narrative. Children will enjoy the simple layout and full-color cartoon illustrations, particularly those of eternally elegant Marigold. The humor and vocabulary are quite sophisticated; a glossary defines words such as context and prescient. Many of the strips end with a dry comment on vanity, friendship, or, at one point, copyright. Even if these ideas or references don't completely sink in, children should appreciate encounters with a goblin and a lake monster and the gags inherent in the contrast between down-to-earth Phoebe and her unlikely best friend, a magnificent, vain, loving unicorn. There are lots of sparkles, too.
VERDICT Appealing art, strong characters, and sharp humor make this a volume both children and parents will read with pleasure.

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