Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Format: Paperback Graphic novel
What did you like about the book? Phoebe and her best friend Marigold Heavenly Nostrils return for another triumphant installment. For anyone unfortunate enough not to be acquainted with this winning team, Phoebe is a nerdy, freckled 3rd grader while Marigold is an ethereal, leggy, and absolutely fabulous unicorn. Opposites attract and the two have become inseparable; Phoebe rides Marigold to school every day, they visit a water park, they conquer the ups and downs of mean girls, and generally just charm the pants off their readers. Most of the story arcs cover about 4-5 paneled pages and feature intense but arch conversation between the two main characters, communicated in bold talk bubbles. Readers will be pumping up their vocabularies as the endless synonyms for “fabulous” bulk up Marigold’s dialogue: sparkling, resplendent, glorious, sublime, etc. A short glossary at the back of the book provides word definitions. Phoebe, her family, and friends are White, her school principal is Black in this volume.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No. It’s not necessary to have any prior knowledge, but the first installment, Phoebe and her Unicorn, does contain the origin story.
To whom would you recommend this book? One thing I love about Phoebe is the suitability for any audience. Readers from grade 3 to adult will enjoy these adventures, which deal with childhood insecurities and giant existential questions in one, candy-colored, sparkling set-up.
Who should buy this book? All libraries
Where would you shelve it? Graphic novels
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes! We could all use a little magic these days.
Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA
Date of review: April 26, 2021