The Nature of Stammering 09/08/22
Death and Sparkles
Publisher: Chronicle Books
As the last unicorn on earth, Sparkles is universally adored, with millions of best buddies following him on social media. In contrast, Death finds it challenging to make friends, not least because he kills everyone he touches.
The two characters are thrown together when Sparkles’ unscrupulous manager arranges a dangerous publicity stunt, involving a rocket-propelled chariot and a faulty parachute. Death attempts to claim Sparkles mid-flight, but something goes awry, and the pair are hurled back to the land of the living, with the unicorn’s horn firmly embedded in Death’s bottom.
Meanwhile, a trio of reptilian aliens are trying to save Planet Earth from climate change. Will they be able to juggle their eco-mission with the lure of fame and fortune when Sparkles’ manager books them as a replacement act?
Although one of the central characters is a unicorn, this colourful graphic novel, which features distinctive digital illustrations, is definitely a book for older readers. Despite its quirky humour, zany characters and off-the-wall plot, the tale touches on some complex ideas, including death, consumerism, the pitfalls of social media, the fickle nature of fame, and the value of genuine friendship.