I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea is a graphic novel written and illustrated by Ben Clanton. It is intended for readers of all ages, and will hold special appeal for children in the early years of elementary school.
This novel is broken up into three short stories featuring a charismatic narwhal and his jellyfish friend. In the first story, the friends meet for the first time and try to figure out if they are real or imaginary. The second story contains some important lessons about friendship when Jellyfish feels left out after Narwhal recruits other animals as members of his new pod. Finally, the third story demonstrates the power of imagination when Narwhal and Jellyfish peruse a book with no words or pictures.
The illustrations have been rendered in a simple style. The background is rather plain, which allows the reader to focus on the characters. Clanton places an emphasis on facial expressions, and it is always easy to see how a character is feeling. There are some silly pages between the story featuring “fun facts” about narwhals, and even a narwhal song!
I knew that my nine year old graphic novel fan was going to love this book, but I also shared it with my seven year old twins. One is an enthusiastic reader, and one is slightly more reluctant about reading. They also enjoyed Narwhal, and giggled at the jokes.
I would recommend Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea. This is a great book for kids who are outgrowing Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie books, as well as those who like graphic novel series like Babymouse and Phoebe and her Unicorn. We loved the quirky humor and the friendship between Narwhal and Jellyfish. It seems like narwhals are becoming increasingly popular, so this book is rather timely. My girls and I all hope that this is the first of many adventures with Narwhal and Jellyfish!