Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea

September 17, 2016
Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea Book Cover Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea
Ben Clanton
Graphic Novel
Tundra Books
October 4th, 2016
eReader ARC

Narwhal is a happy-go-lucky narwhal. Jelly is a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but they do they love waffles, parties and adventures. Join Narwhal and Jelly as they discover the whole wide ocean together.

A wonderfully silly early graphic novel series featuring three stories. In the first, Jelly learns that Narwhal is a really good friend. Then Narwhal and Jelly form their own pod of awesomeness with their ocean friends. And finally, Narwhal and Jelly read the best book ever -- even though it doesn't have any words...or pictures!

Ben Clanton showcases the joys of friendship, the benefits of working together and the power of imagination in the delightful Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea.

(via Goodreads)

NetGalley Professional Reader


I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for NetGalley and Tundra Books for the opportunity!


GUYS. Guys. This book. This adorable, beautiful, superbly cute book! narwhal-blinkingWhen I picked this book up, I didn’t know what to expect. The cover is adorable, and that’s one thing. But a graphic novel for children about a Narwhal? Okay. Bring it on. But what I didn’t realize, is how much pure and unabashed joy this small graphic novel would bring me. So much joy!

This graphic novel is simply a collection of three brief stories around a narwhal and a jellyfish who become friends. Three brief stories, but each with a powerful message for children.

In our first tale, Narwhal is Really Awesome, Jelly doesn’t believe Narwhal is real– the unicorn of the sea has been called out. To counter, Narwhal tells Jelly he isn’t real. And so our protagonists banter until friendship is established. The moral of this story is that friendship can come anywhere, and that really, everyone just wants to be loved. Loved and be fed waffles.

Between each story is a cute aside. In between our first two stories, facts about narwhals and jellyfish appear. A cute way to introduce children to the facts around these animals in the real world.

Narwhal’s Pod of Awesomeness opens with Narwhal searching for his pod.narwhal-blowfish-together After all, narwhals are supposed to be part of a pod, aren’t they? So, Narwhal floats around inviting people to his pod and providing them fake narwhal tooth-tusks to wear. Poor Jelly floats behind feeling left out– but in the end it turns out that Narwhal always thought of Jelly as part of his pod! The moral here is that people don’t mean to snub you, and you need to be open about your intent– don’t assume anything from anyone! Plus, look at those cute fake tooth-tusks.

Between these two stories, we find a cute song about narwhals. Just some images and text, that’s it. And yet I found myself running on the treadmill at the gym singing and clapping along. I kid you not. I swear no one gave me weird looks. … … …

Finally, Narwhal and the Best Book Ever narwhal-wafflesconcludes our trio of tales with a focus on one of my favorite things in the work: books. Specifically, this story is about using your imagination when reading. I personally relate to this very closely (yes, as a fully-grown adult) because I’m terrible at what my other half calls “the mind movie”. I struggle to visualize things in my mind. But, thanks for Narwhal and Jelly, I feel a bit more confident in my owner powers. Oh, and thanks to waffles. Waffles too.

In this end, this is an adorable graphic novel. I highly encourage anyone who feels like they are missing some joy in their life to read this. Immediately. You will find joy.

…and waffles.

5 Stars

What do you think?

  • Do you read many graphic novels? Why or why not?
  • What do you think of this artwork?
  • Often, people won’t read books intended for younger children due to the “childish nature” of these books. What do you think of that? Do you fall into that camp?


  • Read Diverse Books September 19, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    Omg, this DOES sounds extremely cute!! It’s not the kind of graphic novel I’d read, but it does sound like a mood booster. I have been needing one of those recently.

    • Jackie B September 20, 2016 at 9:17 am

      Right?! I have a copy purely to fill me with joy when I need it. Because sometimes, you need it. 🙂

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