Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton
Narwhal is a happy-go-lucky narwhal. Jelly is a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but they do they love waffles, parties and adventures. Join Narwhal and Jelly as they discover the whole wide ocean together.
This might be my favorite thing I have ever read. Ever. This book is so funny, and charming, and sweet, and smart, and the drawings are soooooo adorable. I am in love.
The first thing I want to point out is how universally appealing this little book is. I classified it as children’s because it is short enough and simple enough that it could be read as a picture book (though a bit of a long one…) and is probably at a first grade reading level. But really any adult or kid will enjoy it, and it’s marketed more at a middle-grade level. It’s a great intro to graphic novels because the text is large and the chapters are short.
The humor! Very smart humor that adults will love, though kids will still connect with Narwhal and Jelly’s friendship. I think the multi-levels of humor are what make this great for reading together as a family.
I loved the theme of friendship for kids, how you can be friends even if you’re quite different. Narwhal and Jelly have very different personalities and ways of approaching the world, but they both love waffles. They learn from each other and grow as people. … as animals?
And the illustrations! I’m a big fan of simple line drawings and bright colors. I love how well Clanton captured the two characters’ personalities, even with the minimalist chibi face style. This is a lovely book to look at, perfect for kids and adults alike.
If you’re a librarian, teacher, or parent and this book has somehow slipped past your radar (have you been living under a rock?!?!), you HAVE to get it for the kid(s) in your life. There’s a reason it is so popular. I love it. ❤ ❤ ❤