Phoebe and her unicorn are back in Razzle Dazzle Unicorn!
Since 2015, our family has been in love with Dana Simpson's Phoebe and Her Unicorn books, a kind of modern take on Calvin and Hobbes, only Calvin is an awesome little girl, Hobbes is a unicorn, and the parental figures can see and interact with the unicorn, but are not freaked out because she generates a SHIELD OF BORINGNESS. Now, the insanely prolific Simpson has released the fourth collection in the series: Razzle Dazzle Unicorn: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure.
Simpson continues to develop her characters and add to their number, introducing loads of delightful creatures -- both human and supernatural -- and putting them into situations where there's lots of opportunity for comedy: playing D&D, Christmas morning, New Year's resolutions, journaling, getting a cold, dealing with bullies and mean girls, and a long, eminently satisfying, awfully funny summer music camp sequence.
As with previous volumes (Phoebe and Her Unicorn, Unicorn on a Roll, and Unicorn vs Goblins), Simpson easily straddles the line between kid and adult humor -- another way in which these books recall the heyday of Calvin and Hobbes -- and as I read this to my daughter over a series of bedtimes, we both laughed aloud many times.
These books seriously pass both the kid-test and the kid/parent test. After I started reading the book to my daughter, she snuck off and finished it on her own, then insisted that I continue reading it to her for a second read. I was relieved, because I didn't want to stop reading it. And when we finished it last night, my daughter said, "Write to Dana and ask her when the next one is coming out!"
Razzle Dazzle Unicorn: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure [Dana Simpson/Andrews McMeel Publishing]
Burbank's amazing quarter-century institution Dark Delicacies is a horror book-, memoribilia- and clothing-store that is a community hub for genre creators, hosting a wonderful stream of events, signings, and even an annual chance to get your photo took with Krampus at a Christmas open-house.
Neil Gaiman says Edgar Allan Poe should be read aloud, and he's right: he recorded this video of him reading "The Raven" in 2016 as part of Pat Rothfuss's Worldbuilders charity drive. It's Poe's birthday today, and I can think of no better way to celebrate it than to listen to it again.
To do in San Francisco this Sunday: Kim Stanley Robinson, Howard Hendrix, and Cecelia Holland at SF in SF
The next installment in the SFinSF reading series features Kim Stanley Robinson, Howard Hendrix, and Cecelia Holland; it's this Sunday, Jan 20, doors at 6, event at 6:30, $10 (no one turned away for lack of funds), at the The American Bookbinders Museum (355 Clementina).
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