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Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #1) Paperback – October 4, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Readers new to graphic novels will be richly rewarded with this series opener about a delightfully quirky duo. Earnest and down-to-earth Jelly the jellyfish is the perfect foil for endearingly airheaded Narwhal. Divided into three tales, the book is light on plot but brimming with a fantastically kid-friendly sense of the absurd, from the friends' first reaction upon meeting each other ("You don't look like any fish I've ever seen, but you do look kind of jelly-ish." "Look…things like you don't exist. I mean what is up with that horn?") to the tale that Narwhal and Jelly spin in their metafictional turn, which has a waffle, a strawberry, and a sea monkey doing battle with a giant robot. The art has a childlike quality, and though Narwhal and Jelly are rendered with simple, thick-lined scrawls, the illustrations are expressive and energetic. Clanton includes just a few panels per page and breaks up some of the action with full-page spreads, resulting in a wonderfully accessible option for kids making their first forays into sequential art. A song ("I am a narwhal/a happy little narwhal!") and a brief section with facts on jellyfish and narwhals are fun additions (kids will be impressed to learn that the narwhal's tooth can be up to ten feet long and that the marine mammal can live 90 years). VERDICT An utterly enchanting start to a series that's bound to be popular among young readers. Readers moving on from Mo Willems's "Elephant and Piggie" books and Bob Shea's "Ballet Cat" series will adore this undersea odd couple.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
WINNER - Eisner Award 2017, Best Publication for Early Readers
SELECTION - 100 Magnificent Children’s Books 2016
SELECTION - 2016 Early Chapter Books
SELECTION - CCBC Choices 2017, Fiction for Children
PRAISE FOR Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea:
“Undersea adventures have never been so darn cute .... The incessant charm and unabashed joy should make this an easy sell. Swimmingly delightful and a guaranteed smile-maker.” --Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“An utterly enchanting start to a series that’s bound to be popular among young readers.” --Starred Review, School Library Journal
“Geez, Narwhal and Jellyfish are adorable. There’s no other word as appropriate for this duo… readers will likely clamor for the next outing.” –-Starred Review, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Bantering dialogue entertains throughout, but the book’s best moment might belong to the third story, when Narwhal lends Jelly his “favourite book in the whole wide water, which is blank...“. "It’s an imagination book, Jelly!” Narwhal explains. Readers ready for underwater goofiness of the non-SpongeBob variety will be eager for more adventures from this duo.” --Publishers Weekly
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