cover image Someday, Narwhal

Someday, Narwhal

Lisa Mantchev, illus. by Hyewon Yum. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-7970-7

A boy keeps a small narwhal as a pet in a fishbowl, but she longs to see the world. Intuiting her wistful desire, the boy works with friends (humans, as well as a giraffe, bat, and penguin) to surmount the obstacles and take her around the neighborhood in a wagon. Bravery and cooperation are at the story’s heart; Mantchev (Strictly No Elephants) concentrates on the way the friends listen to the narwhal’s concerns and how she responds (“If you read the signs to me, I can learn the street names as we go”). Within the story’s fantasy world—in which a narwhal can be kept in a fishbowl, and a boy can have animals as friends—these negotiations are rational and fun, too. Yum (A Piece of Home) brings all of this to life with plenty of color and lively action, using distortion to distinguish the narwhal’s perspective from inside the bowl. Mantchev’s tale also implies that some friends have physical conditions that make help from others necessary—good for post-readaloud discussion. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary. [em]Illustrator’s agent: Sean McCarthy, Sean McCarthy Literary. (Oct.) [/em]