Reviews: Unicorn on a Roll & The Worrier’s Guide to Life

unicornonaroll23492248 Review: Unicorn on a Roll (Heavenly Nostrils #2) by Dana Simpson
Source: Digital galley courtesy of Andrews McMeel Publishing via NetGalley. Thank you!
Published: May 26, 2015 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Verdict: Very Good

This second Heavenly Nostrils collection from Dana Simpson is just as delightful as the first collection! I never had the pleasure of reading any of Simpson’s online comics prior to chancing upon Phoebe and Her Unicorn at a bookstore last year. But as soon as I picked it up and started reading, I was sold. This series has been oft likened to Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes, and yes, there is definitely a spiritual link between the two. A young, bossy and inquisitive protagonist? Check. A wise and slightly impertinent animal sidekick? Check. Clever writing? Check. But Simpson’s ideas and work is all her own. There’s a lighter ebullience to her work, especially given that she can play off of Marigold Heavenly Nostrils being a unicorn. Simpson shows that there are a lot of ways to work the vanity, charm and wise-cracking nature of an illustrious unicorn- especially set against a slightly ornery and ordinary middle schooler. Phoebe, said middle-grade protagonist, is also pretty delightful; snarky yet kind, never quite the popular kid but the kid we can all relate to. Overall, I have grown to adore this series and am happy that something like this exists out there for kids and adults alike to enjoy. Readers of comic and graphic novel authors such as Raina Telgemeier, Doug TenNapel, James Burks, Ashley Spires, Victoria Jamieson and Frank Cammuso will likely enjoy Simpson’s terrific work.

worriersguidetolife22716055Review: The Worrier’s Guide to Life written & illus. by Gemma Correll
Source: Digital galley courtesy of Andrews McMeel Publishing via NetGalley. Thank you!
Published: May 26, 2015 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Verdict: Very Good

Ah yes, The Worrier’s Guide to Life…a book that I can relate to all too well! This is the first I have read and seen of Correll’s work and illustrations, and I now know I have to check out more of her work. In The Worrier’s Guide to Life, Correll takes us on a journey of anxiety and fretting from the womb (how’s my umbilical cord?) to beyond. The author pokes and prods at almost everything in our lives: our overuse of search engines to ‘find out’ about diseases; tendencies toward hypochondria; ideas for more, uh, realistic Valentine’s lingerie; ideas for sexier Halloween costumes; snowballing thoughts during yoga (loved this one!); and an entire section devoted to modern malaises (also so on point!). I find Correll’s illustrative style- and how she coordinates colours- very appealing. Her work is streamlined, polished and sharp. I think readers who enjoy most anything in humour, comics, or work along the lines of Kate Beaton, Allie Brosh, Cameron Tuttle, Lucy Knisley, Tom Gauld, or anything from The Oatmeal, will likely enjoy this very much.

I received these books as digital galleys from Andrews McMeel Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for honest reviews.

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2 thoughts on “Reviews: Unicorn on a Roll & The Worrier’s Guide to Life

  1. Pingback: Best Books of 2015, Part 1: Picture Books, Children’s Fiction & Graphic Novels | Fab Book Reviews

  2. Pingback: Recently Read: Great Children’s Titles from Elise Gravel, Dana Simpson, Ben Hatke & more! | Fab Book Reviews

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