Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Unicorn for a Day by Dana Simpson

My my oldest daughter was five, one of the librarians at our local library asked me if my daughter liked unicorns. I believe I responded, “Who doesn’t?” At which point she insisted I put a copy of Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson on hold. 

The moral of this story is: always trust your librarian. 

My oldest daughter is ten now, and I think she feels too old for Phoebe and her Unicorn, but I don’t! (And I think it’s time to start reading it with my youngest daughter who is now 5). 

For those of you who don’t know, the Phoebe and her Unicorn series is about a young girl who feels a little bit weird who happens to befriend a unicorn with the fantastic name of Marigold Heavenly Nostrils. It’s a sweet, funny comic without being treacly. It is exactly what I would have wanted to read as a child in between Calvin and Hobbes and the Far Side. I would go so far as to say it is the Calvin and Hobbes of today. (BTW, parts of Calvin and Hobbes does not hold up so well anymore. In our current world of school shootings and unapologetic misogynists, it feels uncomfortable at times.)

This volume is a collection of comic strips and I am amazed that newspaper comic strips are still a thing. This book is sweet and funny and surprisingly insightful when Phoebe’s parents talk about old tv shows and movies not aging well because of the inherent sexism, racism, and homophobia that went unexplored at the time. 

I highly recommend this volume and this series to readers of all ages. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. 

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