Monday, June 26, 2017

Something in Common: Narwhal, Unicorn of the Sea! by Ben Clanton

One day when Narwhal was out for a swim, he found himself in new waters.

"Whoa! What are YOU?" asked Jellyfish

"Me?" said Narwhal. "I'm Narwhal, the Narwhal. The Unicorn of the Sea."

"I'm a jellyfish," said Jellyfish.

"You don't look like any fish I've ever seen, but you do look kind of jelly-ish," replies Narwhal.

The two regard each other skeptically, each wondering if the other is a figment of his imagination.

Jellyfish is agog. A fish with a horn on his head? . (A tusk-tooth, actually, Narwhal points out.)

"I can't believe this! The thing I am imagining imagines that it's imagining ME!"

It's a weird way to start a friendship, but the ebullient and energetic Narwhal and the dour and wishy-washy jellyfish are somehow drawn to each other despite their differences. If such strange things as themselves exist in the sea, what other unimagined sights might they see? As the two set forth for a swim in new waters in search of more undersea novelty, they do discover an unsuspected commonality--they both love waffles. (Don't ask!)

"NOM NOM!" said Jellyfish.

Along their watery way, the duo meet other remarkable creatures, which Narwhal names: A shark ("Gnarly!"), a sea Turtle ("Turtley!"), an octopus ("Tentacular!"), all candidates for their new circle of friends--


Ben Clanton's new Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea (A Narwhal and Jelly Book 1) (Tundra Books, 2017) offer three silly stories about this dynamic oceanic duo, told in comic-book-framed format, with plenty of humorous banter between the unlikely comrades, just right for primary readers who are looking for a touch of subtle and sophisticated humor in their easy-reading literature. Clanton's less-is-more artwork is reminiscent of masters of the genre such as P. D. Eastman and Syd Hoff, with simple blackline drawings backed by skillful use of color. As Kirkus Reviews puts it succinctly in their starred review, "Undersea adventures have never been so darn cute!"

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  • Funny story, great for beginners in reading - short and interesting, my son will surely like it. Thanks!

    By Anonymous Olga Parker, at 10:07 AM  

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