Book Reviews: Unicorns, Beagles, and Penguins

Phoebe and Her Unicorn in Unicorn Theater
The interspecies gal pals are back for another fun story, this time taking place at drama camp. The addition of Marigold’s sister Florence—now with 100% less nostril spiders—only increases the fun, although there are times Phoebe feels left out. I sense a lesson coming. . .
As always plenty of fave moments:
“I am very dead!” Something said at least once every play. Check out the beginning of Zootopia to prove my point.
Double unicorn stare. Those are the worst.
“Real life not dramatic enough for you?” Thanks, dad.
Whenever someone says, “Awkward!” reply with, “I find all social interactions awkward!”. . . on second thought, don’t.
Yep, that’s what “mess hall” means, alright.
“I could not hear you over the sound of how beautiful I am.” So using this line. . .
Very happy to see the electric dragon back. Max needed a fantasy buddy; even Dakota has one.
If I could give this an even higher mark, I would give it just for rhyming pomegranate.
“‘Nostrils Sisters’ sounds like a band my moms would like.” With such great choices, Max might be my fave of all. . .
A few pages at the end teach how to draw the characters; if Sue’s a little scary, good job!
I couldn’t believe it when the first full-length story ended up being better than the strips, but it works here again.
4.5/5

Super Chill: A Year of Living Anxiously
After seeing the cover, I had to read the description to find out this did not feature Abraham Lincoln, considering the beard and all. Thought it was going to be a “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter” kinda thing. But no, it’s not a dead president, it’s about a guy who. . . lives anxiously, in one of the most colorful comic strips I’ve ever seen.
Best moment had to be that dour deadpan fortune teller. And wow, New Favorite Song is as dark as it gets!
There’s one strip where he relates to a cartoon character; I relate to him only because when I was in Japan I ate a pikachu burger too. (It was delicious.) Also, the Selfie.
3.5/5

Snoopy: Boogie Down!
There’s been so many of these books that it’s hard for them to come up with a new theme. This one doesn’t really matter till the end.
Right away there’s a pun worthy of making me wonder if the guy from Pearls Before Swine got the idea here.
I hate bugs, but I’ll adopt the one who knows more than Lucy and Sally.
Never saw the character Eudora before. I like her, especially her fishing style.
The disguised drop shot made me chuckle before I could stop it.
There’s a special section at the end featuring the history of dance in the strip.
3.5/5

Curtain Call
French guy wants to get back to the woman and child he abandoned during a trip to Africa, so he plans an armored car heist with possibly the one person the least in contact with reality in the whole world.
This story feels like it could have been told a lot quicker if it wasn’t for all the frequent asides and explanations as to why things are the way they are. The narrator mentions the armored car robbery he’s planning, but nothing happens for the first half, other than long justifications as to why everyone is racist and/or a homophobe. And that’s only a few of the ways this gets so depressing. Plus I really hated the ending; why didn’t he just do that in the first place?
I’ve read a couple of others by this author, and while it feels like the same kind of narrative, this time it’s even more so. The artwork is of a kind as well, which on the one hand makes it consistent but on the other means the books are not getting better.
2/5

Hellicious TP Vol 1
It’s the cute little kids that always get ya, even if they are the devil’s granddaughter. Make it a bored kid—named Cherry—with the power to harvest souls and you get a recipe for. . . well, whatever passes for a disaster in Hell. This ain’t no cuddly Dante story.
“What is that thing, and why is it. . . cute?” I feel ya, dude. I almost feel sorry for the poor death metal musician, though anyone who makes that kind of noise can’t expect much better.
Mom is about as hot as one can expect a horned demon to be.
Cherry grinning maniacally while on a mound of those she’d just killed was almost funny, but the fact is this tried to make me laugh every page and mostly failed. Even the ad for cassettes missed the mark. It should have been better, considering the premise.
2.5/5

Loading Penguin Hugs
Uneven comic strip collection that basically boils down to cutesy motivational cartoons.
Starts with a ghost hug. “You can’t feel it, but it’s there!” I call it a virtual hug, but okay.
Reasons to get out of bed was fun.
I’m gonna try really hard to forget just how much penguins smell. Thankfully I only saw one in here, though it wasn’t giving hugs. Lots of cuter animals, though. (Just occurred to me the penguins might still be loading, considering the title.)
“I made brief contact with a dog!” might just be too cute, as is “I’m awesome trash!”
“Self-love hedgehog” made me think of something completely different.
This will likely end up being TOO sweet even if you’re not all that cynical.
3/5

;o)

Tell me what you think I need to know. . .

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.