Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton

By Maureen Tai, 23 April 2018

“Jellyfish: You’ve never heard of a jellyfish?!”
Narwhal: Nope! You don’t look like any fish I’ve ever seen, but you do look kind of jelly-ish. I sure have an amazing imagination.”

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If I could describe the main character in Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea, in one single word, it would be EXUBERANT.

This is quite possibly the happiest, cheeriest and cutest early reader picture book/comic that I have ever had the pleasure of reading.  How awesome is that! There is at least one exclamation mark on each page (64 pages in total!). Sometimes, there are even three of the blighters in a row!!! Fantastic!

Narwhal, confident, curious and optimistic to a fault, blissfully floats into an unfamiliar part of the ocean.  He meets Jellyfish, who initially questions if Narwhal is real or not.  Jellyfish is curmudgeonly, suspicious, and somewhat guarded.  In all honesty, who wouldn’t be when confronted with this strangely cheery one-horned creature that just radiates happiness?  They overcome their doubts to become fast friends, united by the love of waffles.  The duo go on to form a pod of awesomeness with a sea turtle, a shark, a puffer fish and a Kool Kat octopus and to enjoy a wordless and pictureless book together.  Awesome!!

The pictures are bold, deceptively simple but extremely appealing. The back and forth repartee between the irrepressibly sunny Narwhal and the skeptical Jellyfish is fun and funny.  This is a quick read, five minutes max, but the smile on your face will linger for much longer.

For ages 4 and up.

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