Not Quite Narwhal

Illustrated by Jessie Sima
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About The Book

In the tradition of Uni the Unicorn and Gaston, this heartwarming and adorable debut picture book tells the story of a young unicorn who was born under the sea to a family of narwhals.

Growing up in the ocean, Kelp has always assumed that he was a narwhal like the rest of his family. Sure, he’s always been a little bit different—his tusk isn’t as long, he’s not as good of a swimmer, and he really doesn’t enjoy the cuisine. Then one night, an extra strong current sweeps Kelp to the surface, where he spots a mysterious creature that looks just like him! Kelp discovers that he and the creature are actually unicorns. The revelation leaves him torn: is he a land narwhal or a sea unicorn? But perhaps, if Kelp is clever, he may find a way to have the best of both worlds.

Told with heartwarming illustrations and spare, sweet text, Jessie Sima’s debut picture book is about fitting in, standing out, and the all-encompassing love of family.

About The Author

Courtesy of Tory Williams

Jessie Sima is an author/illustrator living and working in New York City. She grew up in a small town in Southern New Jersey, unaware that she was a storyteller. Once she figured it out, she told her family and friends. They took it quite well. She is the author of Not Quite NarwhalHarriet Gets Carried Away; Love, Z; and Spencer’s New Pet. You can visit her at JessieSima.com.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (February 2017)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781481469098
  • Grades: P - 3
  • Ages: 4 - 8
  • Lexile ® AD590L

Raves and Reviews

"The message is an appealing one that could speak to many family situations relating to multiple identities...feel-good story"

– Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2016

"Adorable characters trigger smiles throughout"

– Publisher's Weekly, December 2016

"A storyteller’s pacing and winning characters, resulting in an appealing book. Read it for a whimsical storytime or provide some text-to-text connections for older students with Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Uni the Unicorn and Bob Shea’s Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great....this title is highly recommended."

– School Library Journal, January 2017

"Swap the tired Ugly Duckling for this delightfully absurd tale of knowing who you are and where you came from."

– Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, January 2017

"Sima’s bubbly, adorable artwork is nearly irresistible...This endearing tale will warm many a heart."

– Booklist, January 2017

"This book is painfully adorable...The story is about finding your own way to belong,..It's just beautiful.”

– Shelf Awareness Pro, January 24, 2017

Awards and Honors

  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children's Book Council)
  • Georgia Children's Book Award Nominee
  • Wisconsin State Reading Association's Reading List
  • Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Nominee (MD)

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: Jessie Sima

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