Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea

Ben Clanton. Tundra, $7.99 trade paper (64p) ISBN 978-1-101-91871-5
Clanton (Something Extraordinary) introduces an imaginative and self-confident narwhal in a bubbly trio of comics. In the first story, Narwhal befriends Jelly, a jellyfish, even though Jelly has never met a narwhal and Narwhal has never met a jellyfish. “What is up with that horn?” asks a frowning Jelly. “It’s actually more of a tusk-tooth,” Narwhal replies good-naturedly. Clanton outlines his heroes in rough pencil and colors them digitally—Narwhal resembles a floating comma, Jelly a semicircle with dangly tentacles—creating a loose, off-the-cuff aquatic environment. The cast grows in the second tale as Narwhal amasses an eclectic pod of sea creatures who grin broadly as they get their honorary narwhal horns (sorry, tusk-teeth). Bantering dialogue entertains throughout, but the book’s best moment might belong to the third story, when Narwhal lends Jelly his “favorite book in the whole wide water,” which is blank (Clanton gives the joke maximum impact by including two blank pages). “It’s an imagination book, Jelly!” Narwhal explains. Readers ready for underwater goofiness of the non-SpongeBob variety will be eager for more adventures from this duo. Ages 6–9. Agent: Marietta Zacker, Gallt & Zacker Literary. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/2016
Release date: 10/04/2016
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 64 pages - 978-1-101-91826-5
Prebound-Glued - 64 pages - 978-0-606-40450-1
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