Not Quite Narwhal – Jessie Sima


   Not Quite Narwhal – Jessie Sima, Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, (9781481469098), 2017

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review)  4

Genre:   Picture Book

What did you like about the book?    Kelp is a baby unicorn who is born in the ocean among the narwhals.  The enchanting illustrations in undersea tones of blue and green show the newborn Kelp, complete with diving bubble,  lying within a clam shell.  Kelp knows that he is different from the other narwhals but no one seems to mind.  One day, a strong current bring Kelp to the surface of the ocean where he finds land and a herd of unicorns, “Land Narwhals!”  The land illustrations are filled with rainbow colors and lots of green and yellow.  Kelp enjoys his time with the unicorns, but misses his narwhal friends.  So Kelp returns to the ocean, but he keeps thinking of the land.  “Did he want to be a land narwhal with the unicorns or a sea unicorn with the narwhals?  Kelp couldn’t decide.  But then he realized that maybe…just maybe…he didn’t have to choose.”  The final double page spread is a joyful beach scene filled with narwhals and unicorns having fun together.  This is a great story with adorable illustrations that teaches children to be happy with who they are.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No

To whom would you recommend this book?   This is a book that most children will love.  It would also be great to read t a child who spends time with two different families, perhaps due to divorce.  

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Picture Books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review: 4/26/17             

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