Unicorn vs. Goblins: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure by Dana Simpson
Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2016. 978-1449476281
Synopsis: Have fun as Phoebe and Marigold continue the “Phoebegold Detective Agency,” spend a week at Wolfgang Music Camp, and find themselves in more misadventures, thanks to Marigold’s enchanted sparkles! Along the way, Phoebe makes some new friends, such as Sue—her unique clarinet-playing bunkmate, Florence Unfortunate Nostrils, Marigold’s estranged sister, and Camp Wolfgang’s lake monster who enjoys tacos and Wi-Fi. When school resumes, read along as Phoebe enjoys (or suffers from) a brief case of popularity, mentally catalogs her grievances against dodge ball, and, with Marigold’s help, rescues Dakota and her hair from the queen of the goblins. Through these wacky adventures, Phoebe and Marigold learn that their friendship is the second most magical thing of all, after Marigold’s beauty, of course. – from Amazon.com
Why I picked it up: The series came highly recommended by my second cousins.
Why I finished it: Phoebe and Marigold are totally the new dynamic duo. Phoebe is smart, snarky, and weird; Marigold is vain, snarky, and well, a unicorn. I do have to agree that there are some similarities to Calvin and Hobbes, but Phoebe and Marigold have a different sort of humor going for them. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but both girls are so…cool, even if Phoebe is seen as an outsider in her class. The dynamic between the two is perfectly written – where something goes over Marigold’s head, Phoebe is there to set her straight; when Phoebe wants to pursue a project, Marigold is there to weigh the options before they jump in. Plus, there’s cultural references for both kids and their parents. Simpson’s art is delightfully fanciful, using bright colors and thick lines to create Phoebe and Marigold’s world. I was a little disappointed there weren’t more goblins in this book – the bit with the goblins only takes up about fifteen pages or so – but despite the lack of green, pointy-eared monsters, it was refreshingly funny and relatable. It’s sure to be a hit with female readers of all ages.
Other related materials: Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson; Unicorn on a Roll: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure by Dana Simpson; Big Nate books by Lincoln Peirce; Alien Invasion in my Backyard: An EMU Club Adventure by Ruben Bolling; The Ghostly Thief of Time by Ruben Bolling; Babymouse series by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm; Hamster Princess books by Ursula Vernon; Zita the Spacegirl series by Ben Hatke; Cleopatra in Space series by Mike Maihack; The Princess in Black series by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale; Lunch Lady books by Jarrett J. Krosoczka; Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi; Stinky Cecil books by Paige Braddock