Phoebe and Her Unicorn #15: Unicorn Selfies – Dana Simpson

This collection begins with Marigold and Phoebe attending the unveiling of their brand new clubhouse, which wouldn’t be complete if they weren’t pixie punked. Now the clubhouse is finished, all they need to do is figure out what kind of club they are.


A good portion of this collection focuses on Marigold preparing for and attending her family reunion. Phoebe and Marigold attend the reunion in style because unicorn and once there Marigold catches up with some familiar faces. She also meets some of her family for the first time.

When the reunion is not the focus, Marigold makes Phoebe’s problems disappear and Phoebe helps Marigold with her self help book. Marigold’s shadow goes to the dark side and a conspiracy theory is tested. 

In keeping with the honour that is being Marigold’s best friend, Marigold bestows upon Phoebe her unicorn name. This is also the collection where we learn the number 5 is a dragon called Jim who “rains death from above”. 

Phoebe’s powers of observation are called into question.


More than once.


Because so much time was spent in the lead up to and attendance of Marigold’s family reunion, there wasn’t quite as much variety in this collection. I enjoyed finally getting to meet more of Marigold’s family but I missed Dakota, who was only mentioned in passing. Max also only had a small part to play. 

I always enjoy hanging out with Marigold and Phoebe, “knower of unicorn secrets”. I’m looking forward to the next collection already.

Book in a book: Phoebe reads The Neverending Story. I also attempted to read this as a nine year old but couldn’t understand at the time why the book didn’t replicate the movie exactly, not realising the book came first. Note to self: finish reading The Neverending Story.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read this graphic novel.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Phoebe Howell and her best friend, the dazzling unicorn Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, have all kinds of exciting things planned for the summer. Their adventures include constructing a secret clubhouse with Phoebe’s friend Max (enlisting the help of some magic pixies along the way) and preparing for a trip to Marigold’s unicorn family reunion. Along the way, readers will meet all kinds of new characters, learn what magic spells are best avoided, and have all kinds of sparkling unicorn fun.

Phoebe and Her Unicorn #14: Unicorn Playlist – Dana Simpson

With the adult world intruding on her, Phoebe is having a sad day. We all need a unicorn best friend right now and fortunately for Phoebe, she has Marigold Heavenly Nostrils. Marigold regales Phoebe with stories of the time when unicorns ruled the Earth, how The Pointy Express preceded horn wi-fi and her time at Sparkle Academy.

Phoebe and Marigold discover they have different tastes in music, which causes no conflict at all.


Eventually they find a song that they both like.

The Goblin Queen challenges Dakota to a popularity contest. Phoebe explains the Magical Christmas Loophole to Marigold, after getting over her Christmas anticipointment. Phoebe teaches Marigold about distraction.


Max and Phoebe exchange Valentines. Phoebe has lunch with Dakota and her friends.


Marigold makes a Formal Declaration of Resolution to learn more about her family. We meet one of her cousins, Infernus, the Unicorn of Death. They’re not as scary as they sound. I’m looking forward to attending Marigold’s family reunion with her and Phoebe in a future collection.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read this graphic novel.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Best friends Phoebe Howell and Marigold Heavenly Nostrils march to their own beat, but life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. With so many problems in the world and drama at school, Phoebe wonders why unicorns aren’t in charge instead of humans. With Marigold, each day is full of magic, from introducing Phoebe to unicorn music to crashing a goblin popularity contest, and even tracking down long-lost family members like Infernus, the Unicorn of Death (who ends up being surprisingly adorable). In Unicorn Playlist, Phoebe and Marigold play all the hits.

Phoebe and Her Unicorn #13: Unicorn Famous – Dana Simpson

After having a best friend who’s a unicorn for quite a while now, Phoebe discovers that unicorns have become popular and she’s not sure whether she’s okay with that or not. I, too, was into unicorns before they were cool so I understand where Phoebe is coming from.

Marigold employs her skills as a tooth fairy negotiator. Like all parents do, whether they want to admit it or not, Phoebe’s dad attempts to customise her. Phoebe and Marigold enjoy a day out at the water park.


Dakota receives a Blarty Award but she’s not entirely sure what the award is for since she doesn’t speak goblin. Marigold proves she has great taste in movies.


Dakota and Phoebe settle on being kind of friends. Phoebe makes her own Halloween costume without any magical unicorn assistance.

And my personal favourite, Claustrophoebea and Pointyhead make another long overdue appearance.


I can’t believe I still love this series so much! This is the thirteenth time I’ve been allowed to see what lies beneath the Shield of Boringness and I’d hang out with Marigold and her human, Phoebe, again tomorrow if Marigold was inclined to magic up the fourteenth graphic novel by then.

There’s a great blend of comics that explore things we already know in a new way, like Marigold’s obsession with her reflection, and entirely new, very important unicorn related information.

Unicorn sneers will make 62% of your freckles fall off.

We also discover what’s to blame for us not being able to get negative comments out of our heads. It was peanut butter all along. Who would have suspected something that’s seemingly innocuous was capable of something so dastardly?!

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to fall in love with this graphic novel early.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

When your best friend is a unicorn, every day is a stroll down the red carpet. Phoebe Howell’s unicorn BFF, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, is happy to provide the celebrity treatment – teaching Phoebe fancy new spells, giving her a ride to school so she doesn’t have to ride the bus, and even negotiating with the tooth fairy on her behalf.

But when Phoebe starts noticing that unicorns have become a trendy fashion statement, she doesn’t feel quite so unique. Fortunately, she’s distracted by adventures including a visit to the unicorn community and a trip to the woods to see her friend Dakota receive an unusual honour at the goblin award ceremony. Unicorn Famous is filled with amusing examples of the extraordinary lengths friends will go to make each other feel special. 

Phoebe and Her Unicorn #12: Virtual Unicorn Experience – Dana Simpson

It’s no secret how much I love this series. There are unicorns, magic and nerds. What’s not to love?! Although it’s technically a series for kids, this adult finds it delightful. The friendship between this unicorn and her nerd is really sweet, full of mutual admiration, laughter and a healthy dose of sarcasm.

In this collection we learn that Marigold floats when she’s complimented. As she fishes for compliments a lot I would have thought we’d already know about the floating but this is new information for both Phoebe and me.


Phoebe learns the Unicorn Investigative Agency has her under surveillance. The solution? A sparkle transfusion! Of course, this doesn’t exactly go to plan.


Phoebe finds out what life without a phone is like. Marigold attends an audition and it’s Phoebe’s job to distract her until she finds out the result. Phoebe enjoys one of life’s pleasures – falling asleep to the sound of rain.


We learn that Marigold has a magical pocket dimension, which could be the answer to all of your storage needs. Phoebe performs in a talent show and Marigold has jury duty. We discover that Marigold went through a goth phase.


My favourite chuckle was when Marigold showed us how good she looks in pink.


I enjoyed seeing a couple of different sides to Dakota. I was disappointed by the comics that included Max though. His character has so much potential but he wasn’t given a lot to do in this collection.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read this graphic novel.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Marigold Heavenly Nostrils is one magical unicorn – and she knows it! But sometimes it’s harder for humans like Phoebe to understand that they can be magical, too. In the latest Phoebe and Her Unicorn adventure, the pair visits the science museum, tests out an extra-special virtual unicorn reality, and performs in the school talent show. With the help of her best friend and an emergency sparkle transfusion, Phoebe learns about confidence, empathy, and resilience – and even how to live without her cellphone. It’s all part of the very real excitement of Virtual Unicorn Experience.

Phoebe and Her Unicorn #11: Camping with Unicorns – Dana Simpson

It’s time to hang out with Marigold Heavenly Nostrils’ favourite unicorn (herself, of course!) and her human, Phoebe.

Once again it’s summer vacation and there’s so much to do, once Phoebe winds down from school.

Phoebe attempts to teacher Marigold how to lie.

Max and Phoebe play hide and seek, and Phoebe and Marigold play some games where everyone wins. Well, sometimes. Meanwhile Dakota is enjoying all of the perks of being a goblin princess, from the the tiara to the luxury of being transported upon her “throne thingy”, complete with cup holders.

After spending so long being frenemies, Phoebe and Dakota decide it’s time to reboot their friendship. I wholeheartedly approve of this development because it means more Dakota! I love Dakota!

Phoebe and Max’s families go camping together. When they’re not roasting marshmallows around the campfire or attracting the local wildlife,

Phoebe, Max and Marigold enjoy nature (and meet a unicorn who is roughing it).

I learned that unicorns look even more adorable when they’re wearing swimsuits and discovered why schools are much more interesting during summer vacation. I tagged along with Marigold as she entertained herself while Phoebe was at school and decided Marigold’s favourite magical loophole is now one of my own favourites. Phoebe’s own loophole was a familiar one.

When I realised this collection would mostly take place during summer vacation I expected to see a rehash of previous summers with Phoebe and Marigold. I’m not sure if it’s just because I needed a unicorn fix but this collection felt really fresh. New characters were introduced and I learned something new about some I’ve known since the first collection.

I hope I don’t have to wait too long for my next magical unicorn fix. I’ll definitely be rereading this collection and most likely revisiting some earlier ones in the meantime.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read this graphic novel.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Life is never boring when your best friend is a unicorn! The latest installment in this bestselling series is full of mischief, magic and adventure — as well as an important reminder to always stay true to yourself.

School’s out, so Phoebe and her unicorn best friend, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, have the entire summer to play games, visit the pool, and even go camping. Unicorn horns are excellent utensils for roasting things over the campfire, too, even if Marigold prefers toasted apples to s’mores. While exploring in the woods, Phoebe and friends meet a unicorn named Alabaster, who uses a special video game console that’s powered by plants. Throughout her summer adventures, Phoebe learns that being cool isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and that it’s much better to be your true self. It’s all part of the unforgettable experience of Camping with Unicorns

Phoebe and Her Unicorn #10: The Unicorn Whisperer – Dana Simpson

I really enjoyed this collection. While the previous couple of Phoebe and Her Unicorn books have still been fun to read, it also felt like I was largely reading about the same series of events in slightly different ways. This collection had a lot more variety and also introduced some new ideas and jokes to the usual reflection gazing and all round unicorn wonderment that makes this series both funny and heartwarming, with some enjoyable sarcasm and nerd points.

It’s a nice challenge, attempting to whittle down my numerous favourites and decide which ones to include here. We’ll start with an obvious favourite, when Phoebe’s love of reading overrides her need to do her homework.

Phoebe also makes a necessary improvement to her bedtime story.

While Phoebe is working on her history report (and no, it’s not allowed to be about unicorns again) Marigold catches up with Todd. Phoebe considers what her Halloween costume will be this year, begins to figure out her superhero origin story and gradually learns what her superpowers are.

Later Phoebe comes down with a case of sparkle fever and Marigold is offended during a game of Monopoly. Phoebe has a nightmare and Marigold has a good dream. Both attend a goblin opera and Marigold visits Concertina Lovelyflank’s Sugar Boutique.

Marigold regales Phoebe with some unicorn lore, including what happens if a unicorn stays too long at the beach and what unicorns believed shooting stars were. Phoebe learns the truth about the Tooth Fairy.

Marigold is always ready to lend some magic to help out her best friend, although the results can be quite unexpected.

I love that after all this time Marigold still has the ability to delight and surprise Phoebe (and myself).

Despite all of the magic this series remains relatable

and at its core lies a heartwarming interspecies friendship.

It’s lovely to take some time to remember the innocence of childhood and focus on the good, the funny and the magic that surrounds us, even if we aren’t lucky enough to have a unicorn as our best friend.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to love this graphic novel early.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

For 9-year-old Phoebe Howell and her sparkling companion, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, every day is an adventure. In this latest installation of Dana Simpson’s award-winning Phoebe and Her Unicorn series, Phoebe navigates the challenges of school life with a little help from her unicorn friend, who is always ready with the perfect spell for the occasion. But as the magic spells mount up, both Phoebe and Marigold find themselves wondering if sometimes they might be taking things just a little too far …

Phoebe and Her Unicorn #9: Unicorn Bowling – Dana Simpson

Last time we saw them, Phoebe, Sue (Phoebe’s friend from camp), Max (Phoebe’s adorably nerdy friend) and their respective magical friends (Marigold, Ringo and Voltina) plus Marigold’s sister, Florence, were heading home from drama camp. I’ve loved the two graphic novels.

Now we’re back for another collection.

I learned that unicorn hiccups sparkle (of course they do!) and Marigold discovered the marvel that is bubble wrap. Phoebe’s father partook in some nostalgia and in the process made me feel really old because I remember those days too! Claustrophoebea and Pointyhead were back!

Phoebe doesn’t think she’s being assigned enough homework so Marigold provides some for her. Phoebe also nerds out about getting to make a diorama for school.

Phoebe and Marigold get somewhat serious when they discuss the meaning of life and Marigold regales Phoebe with multiple unicorn legends, some more recent than others. Dakota uses her vlog to bully Phoebe.

Marigold invites Phoebe to unicorn camp. Phoebe’s friend from camp, Sue, also attends but Ringo the lake monster is absent. While I was glad Max had a birthday party in this collection, I was sad his only guests appeared to be Phoebe and Marigold. Where was Voltina? She seems to only exist in the graphic novels. Also absent were the goblins who hang out with Dakota and some of Dakota’s personality.

Thank you to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read this collection.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

A unicorn in bowling shoes is quite a STRIKE-ing sight. But for nine-year-old Phoebe Howell, it’s just another fun outing with her best friend, the illustrious unicorn Marigold Heavenly Nostrils. This unique and magical friendship is at the heart of the ninth Phoebe and Her Unicorn collection, which includes adventures such as writing original songs, publishing rival news websites, and making a summer visit to the exclusive Camp Shimmerhorn.

Life with a unicorn BFF is not without its challenges, however, and whether it’s homework, friction with classmates, or talent show jitters, Unicorn Bowling is full of amusing, heartwarming reminders that when the going gets tough, the tough get sparkling.

Phoebe and Her Unicorn #8: Phoebe and Her Unicorn in Unicorn Theater – Dana Simpson

Spoilers Ahead!

Voltina is back!!! I adored her when she was introduced in Phoebe and Her Unicorn in the Magic Storm because she’s a dragon and even more importantly, my favourite nerd, Max, finally had his very own friend/magical creature.

This is Phoebe and Marigold’s second graphic novel and this time they’re going to summer camp. I was glad they didn’t wind up at music camp again because that’s where they’ve always gone. This time they’re going to drama camp and Marigold’s sister, Florence Unfortunate Nostrils, is coming too. Interestingly, Florence’s nostrils aren’t as unfortunate as they have been previously.

Phoebe is initially jealous of the time the two unicorn sisters are spending together. Thankfully Sue and Max are also there, along with Ringo the lake monster and Voltina! Max is so adorably awkward and nerdy

and each time Sue says something weird I remember why I want her to star in her own graphic novel.

Unicorn transport is just as wonderful as I hoped it would be. With drama on and off the stage and some commentary about friendships and sisters, this is a lot of fun and a nice return to the graphic novel format. I’m crossing my fingers that Voltina makes her way into the collections as well as the graphic novels.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Summer is here, and Phoebe and Marigold are headed to drama camp. At Camp Thespis, Phoebe and her friends have their work cut out for them: writing, producing, and acting in an entirely original play! Phoebe’s expecting some quality time with her best friend, but in a surprise twist, Marigold has invited her sister, Florence Unfortunate Nostrils! The newest Phoebe and Her Unicorn graphic novel is a sparkling tale of sisterhood and summer fun, as well as a reminder that sometimes it takes a bit of drama to rediscover true friendship.

Phoebe and Her Unicorn #7: Unicorn of Many Hats – Dana Simpson

After their first graphic novel adventure, Phoebe and Marigold are back for another collection of comics.

In this collection Phoebe and Marigold write fan letters and Marigold babysits Phoebe.

We learn that shimmering is better than glimmering. Marigold gets into a grooming competition with the cat and Max outnerds Phoebe.

We visit Marigold’s home for the first time. Phoebe and Marigold attend a dragon Halloween party where I learned I need rainbow-flame jack-o’-lanterns in my life. We meet Ralph, a kid in Phoebe’s class who isn’t Max or Dakota.

Dakota is still cool and rubbing Phoebe’s face in it and Marigold took a short break from admiring her own reflection to reflect on her friendship with Phoebe.

After absolutely adoring the graphic novel format, adventure and introduction of a wonderful new character, Voltina the dragon, in The Magic Storm, this collection of comics felt like a let down. Christmas, Halloween and summer seem to be covered in the majority of the collections I’ve read so far and a lot of the themes and jokes are repetitive. The actual target audience may not have a problem with this but I’m eager for material that feels new.

I was especially disappointed that Voltina didn’t make an appearance in this collection, which meant adorably nerdy Max is essentially alone again. Yes, he sort of has Phoebe sometimes but she’s not a good enough friend to even notice he’s being bullied when it’s happening right in front of her face. He deserves better.

Thank you to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read this collection.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Marigold Heavenly Nostrils is no ordinary unicorn. She has Wi-Fi-enabled appendages. She’s the most enchanted babysitter of all time. She’s published numerous scholarly articles on the “shimmering” versus “glimmering” debate. She is, in short, a unicorn of many hats.

Phoebe and her exceptional hooved pal are back in this all-new collection of comics! Laugh alongside the lovable duo as they question the idea of “coolness,” gain a deeper appreciation for the power of friendship, and put off summer reading assignments for as long as physically possible.

Phoebe and Her Unicorn #6: Phoebe and Her Unicorn in the Magic Storm – Dana Simpson

Before I tell you anything else you need to know there’s a DRAGON in this book!!! 💜💜💜 Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system I can continue.

Marigold’s magical sensitivity is telling her something’s not quite right. This is confirmed when a pixie’s GPS fails and Marigold can only find one bar of magical reception. Meanwhile at Phoebe’s elementary school, the teachers and kids alike are anticipating a half day due to a rumoured ice storm.

Later that day Marigold can’t even sparkle anymore when, horror of horrors, magic and the wifi go down!

This is a job for Phoebegold Detective Agency! Dakota isn’t so sure that Phoebe has enough nerd power to solve this case though.

Because Marigold no longer has magic her Shield of Boringness is down, making the people she walks past actually respond to her unicorn awesomeness for the first time in the series.

Although Max has been Phoebe’s second best friend for a while now (after Marigold, of course) I was so happy that he made a new friend in this graphic novel, one he shares more interests with. He’s consistently one of my favourite characters so it was lovely to have him more involved in the storyline. I loved the gentle, age appropriate way that bullying, loneliness and friendships were addressed in this story.

I can’t get enough of Phoebe and Marigold. Phoebe, who was once a lonely young girl, now has a magical creature that looks at her like this and it’s adorable.

I loved learning that goblins have their own version of a unicorn’s Shield of Boringness called a Bubble of Non-Grossness. Let’s face it, maybe I just love the blarting goblins.

I fell in love with Voltina the dragon and can’t wait to see how much she features in future adventures.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read this graphic novel. After not being quite as enthralled by the last two collections I read, my love for Phoebe, Marigold and the rest of Dana Simpson’s creations has been renewed with this graphic novel. I’m looking forward to bingeing the rest of the series.

P.S. Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates it!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

The first Phoebe and Her Unicorn graphic novel!

Phoebe and Marigold decide to investigate a powerful storm that is wreaking havoc with the electricity in their town. The adults think it’s just winter weather, but Phoebe and Marigold soon discover that all is not what it seems to be, and that the storm may have a magical cause. To solve the case, they team up with Max, who is desperate for the electricity to return so he can play video games, and frenemy Dakota, who is aided by her goblin minions. Together, they must get to the bottom of the mystery and save the town from the magic storm.