This is the third book in an amazing series that will eventually publish every single Peanuts strip, and it is basically more of what appeared in the second book. The strip at that time was mainly about a group of children going through life. In a way, it was always like that, but somehow the early years are much more down to earth.
There is, however, one big breakthrough in this volume: Snoopy begins to use his imagination. But don't expect battles with the Red Baron, or Joe someone! At this stage he was only imitating animals. But it was still a start that produces many laughs along the way.
As for the rest of the group: It was mainly Charlie Brown Shroader, Lucy, Linus, 'Pig Pen', Violet, and Patty - the first one - being children. Shermy is in it too, but he was being used much less already. And the ephemeral Charlotte Bruan, introduced at the end of 1954, gets a few more strips in January 1955. Linus, on the other hand, gets a big character development. He leaves his baby status early in 1955 and is allowed to show a certain superiority over the others. He does, however, already rely on the security blanket,(which Lucy's attitude towards slowly changes throughout the volume,) and he has trouble understanding Halloween. His "Just wait till next year!" line works for me not because it is funny then, but because we know what he will be doing in future Halloweens!
As I said before, this book is nothing exceptional. And pernaps my mark of 4 out of 5 is a little biased. It is all good, but I know that future volumes will be better! And nothing major really happens here apart from some character development, and it is the later strips that I have come to love.
If you want to get the complete collection, (which I certainly hope you do,) then this book is a must-buy. If, however, you do not have any of the other books in the series, then you may want to buy them first.