by Stephan Pastis

Andrews McMeel Publishing, $12.99, 128 pages

For many comic strip readers, Pearls Before Swine provides a daily laugh with its irreverent look at life. Stephen Pastis, author and illustrator of the strip, has collected nearly a year’s worth of strips in his new book Larry in Wonderland. More than 600 newspapers worldwide include Pearls in their comic strip line-up. Through his much loved characters, Pastis provides cutting-edge commentary on current events, news, popular culture, and human nature. The strip has won multiple awards and it is clear that Pastis has much to offer to readers looking to be challenged and entertained.

This collection’s central theme centers on Larry the Croc who finds himself in a Wonderland type world. Raterpillar, Tweedle Dum Pig, Tweedle Dee Idiot Pig, Cheshire Snuffle, Mad Ducker, and the rest of the Pearls regulars join in on the fun. Although it may be hard to believe, the crazy world of Pearls gets even crazier. Readers new to the strip can jump right in – no prior knowledge of past plots is necessary. Pastis has a talent for driving home his message in a mere three panels. His humor can be subtle or in-your-face, and it is always a hoot.

Kathryn Franklin