Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on February 14, 2017
Genres: Picture Book
Pages: 36
Format: Hardcover
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three-half-stars

In the tradition of Uni the Unicorn and Gaston, this heartwarming and adorable debut picture book tells the story of a young unicorn who was born under the sea to a family of narwhals.

Growing up in the ocean, Kelp has always assumed that he was a narwhal like the rest of his family. Sure, he’s always been a little bit different—his tusk isn’t as long, he’s not as good of a swimmer, and he really doesn’t enjoy the cuisine. Then one night, an extra strong current sweeps Kelp to the surface, where he spots a mysterious creature that looks just like him! Kelp discovers that he and the creature are actually unicorns. The revelation leaves him torn: is he a land narwhal or a sea unicorn? But perhaps, if Kelp is clever, he may find a way to have the best of both worlds.

Told with heartwarming illustrations and spare, sweet text, Jessie Sima’s debut picture book is about fitting in, standing out, and the all-encompassing love of family.

Not Quite Narwhal is a sweet little story. Kelp is born at the bottom of the sea with the narwhals. Now, we know he’s a unicorn with a kind of bubble around his head, but he thinks he’s a narwal. All the narwhals love and adore him, even if he’s not like them. Then one day he sees a unicorn and realizes that he’s a unicorn, too. Only he still has bubble around his head on land too. Okay, so the bubble probably bothered me more than it would a kid.

All the unicorns accept him and the narwhals greet his announcement that he’s a unicorn with well, of course he is, they knew it all along. And they never gave him the chance to meet any other unicorns?

The story’s about accepting each other, differences and all, and about being yourself. The illustrations are whimsical, soft and lovely. It just didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, but I’m an adult. I think a child, especially one who loves unicorns, would adore it.

About Jessie Sima

Jessie Sima grew up in a small town in southern New Jersey and now lives and works just outside New York City.

She is the author & illustrator of Not Quite Narwhal and Harriet Gets Carried Away, and the illustrator of Snow Pony and the Seven Miniature Ponies, written by Christian Trimmer.

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