I originally picked these up because I saw them on Litsy. My understand is that they were originally webcomics that are now being published in books as well. They’re absolutely delightful, with the basic premise being simply that Phoebe makes friends with a unicorn named Marigold Heavenly Nostrils. The comics are just their day-to-day adventures. Marigold is very self-absorbed (I mean, she’s a unicorn), but it’s fun to see their friendship develop as time goes on, with both Phoebe and Marigold learning to appreciate the other more.
Some comparisons have been made between this comic and the classic Calvin & Hobbes, and there are a lot of similarities, especially in the way that this comic is entertaining and engaging for readers of all ages, with stories and characters that appeal to younger readers, and a wry sense of humor that had me, as an adult, cracking up multiple times. But while Hobbes only interacts with Calvin, Marigold is “real” and is also friends with Phoebe’s parents and Phoebe’s friends. She gets around this by having a magical veil of boringness that means people realize she’s a unicorn but aren’t blown away by it as they would be without the spell. I actually especially found Marigold’s interactions with Phoebe’s parents to be entertaining, probably because I’m Phoebe’s parents age!
Speaking of which, one of the things I really enjoyed about this series were Phoebe’s parents, who are just lovely characters with their own interests and jobs, but care about each other and Phoebe (and Marigold!). Phoebe’s dad loves video games and technology, while her mom is an artist, so there’s plenty of contrast to be had between them.
The books don’t have to be read in order (which I’ve listed below), but there are some characters that make more sense if you read them chronologically, especially Phoebe’s frenemy, who ends up also becoming a friend of the goblins (long story). Because yes, other magical creatures do appear throughout the series, including other unicorns, dragons, goblins, and more.
All in all, these ended up being a surprise win for me. I wasn’t expecting to find them so funny and heartwarming, but I enjoyed every page. While yes, they can get a little same-y if you read them back to back to back, overall the artwork is so delightful and the characters so friendly that I will definitely be continuing to read these as they come out.
- Phoebe & Her Unicorn (2014)
- Unicorn on a Roll (2015)
- Unicorn Vs. Goblins (2016)
- Razzle Dazzle Unicorn (2016)
- Unicorn Crossing (2017)
- Phoebe & Her Unicorn in the Magic Storm (2017)
- Unicorn of Many Hats (2018)
- Phoebe & Her Unicorn in Unicorn Theater (2018)
- Unicorn Bowling (2019)
- The Unicorn Whisperer (2019)
- Camping With Unicorns (2020)