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Not Quite Narwhal
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Not Quite Narwhal

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  3,021 Ratings  ·  657 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published February 14th 2017 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published February 2017)
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Hannah Greendale
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Born deep in the ocean, Kelp is a unicorn who knows he's different from his family of narwhals. When a rogue current carries him away from home, he breaches the surface and spots a sparkling creature that looks just like him. Curious, he ventures onto land in search of the mysterious creature.

Everything on land was strange and beautiful - but also kind of scary.
Kelp began to think he might never find the
David Schaafsma
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Each year my family reads all the Goodreads-award-nominated picture books, and we have been doing this for years. Everyone rates each book and adds a comment and it may (or may not) affect my overall rating. This is book #9 of 2017.

Tara: 4 stars. Cute. But why didn't the narwhals tell him he was a unicorn right away, if they knew!?
Harry (12): 4.5 stars. Be who your inner self wants you to be.
Hank (11): 4.3 stars. I thought I was there! I completely forgot where I was when I was reading it!
Lyra (
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Narwhals are underwater unicorns, don't you know!?
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dad: Poppy loves unicorns:

Unicorn Pinata

Unicorn Birthday

Unicorn Christmas

She's kindof been in a phase. ---How many unicorns do you have, Poppy?

Poppy: MMMMmmmmm... I think... Probably about four. ...Because my baby one is lost, and the other three is not lost.

Dad: What are their names?

Poppy: Sally, Unicornia, Lilliana, and Mia.

Dad: What about you, when you turn into a unicorn? Do you have a name?

Poppy: Also, Lilly. Not Lilliana.

Dad: So Lilly and Lilliana are two different unicorns?

Poppy: Yeeeesssssss... ...Because... Because Lilliana has an "
Bridgett Strawbrich
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We couldn't love this book anymore. It's a fun and important story that teaches that looking different doesn't matter to those who love you! Especially great for any children of adoption! Can't wait for Jessie Sima to write another book!
Adorable young unicorn doesn't quite fit in with his narwhal friends and family. Then he finds out why.
Beautiful illustrations, and a sweet little story about acceptance and respect for difference.
Tanja Voosen
Bilderbücher sind eine feine Sache. Wenn man zu jung ist zum Lesen, dann sind Bilder und Illustrationen der erste Weg, um den Weg zu Büchern zu finden. Und obwohl ich aus der Zielgruppe falle, so konnte mich "Das kleine Walhorn" absolut verzaubern. Die Illustrationen sind farbig und mit sehr viel Liebe zum Detail und Humor gestaltet. Nori ist eine Mischung aus Einhorn und Narwal und weiß nicht so genau, wo sein Platz auf der Welt ist. In einem 40-seitigen Abenteuer erkundet er die Meere und such ...more
Sandhya Menon
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So very cute!! My daughter (8) read the first page and then immediately called her older brother over so she could read to him and show him the pictures. The illustration of baby Kelp made her melt, and she loved the happy message of love and acceptance. :) Can't wait for more from Jessie!
Carrie Gelson
Who we are, where we belong, how big all of this can be. Lovely little book.
Michele Knott
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Will use for theme.
This little book surprised me. Packed with a message that I didn't know it had.
This one is going to end up in my picture book collection.
Amy Yingling
Beautiful illustrations and a feel good story about finding out about who you are and realizing that you don’t have to choose between friends no matter what the differences between you are.
Sarah Smith
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
this is the greatest book of all time.
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
wasn't expecting to like this as much as i did but i was very impressed by it. jessie sima is both author and illustrator and she did a fantastic job on her first book.

the illustrations are so adorable. kelp was TOO CUTE ♥ and the message was such a wonderful one for kids to learn while they are still kids.

you can be both! you can be whatever you are/whoever you are and you don't have to pick just one side of yourself to be. BE IT ALL AND BE PROUD AND HAPPY ♥

there are rainbows and unicorns in
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a cute little sparkly book.

The gist: Kelp has always been different from other Narwhals and finds out maybe he's not one. And maybe it's not such a bad thing to be different. What a great book about love, acceptance and family and that you can have all that and then some.
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Amber by: Megan
WHAT IS THIS MAGIC?! CAN THIS BE REAL LIFE?! Thanks to Megan and Anna for bringing this to my attention. I must buy this book and yes it will be all mine.
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
My nieces and nephews love this book because it combines the former's love of unicorns with the latter's love of whales. As a bonus, it's really cute.
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books

Unicorns and rainbows!

Kelp was raised in the ocean as a narwhal, but he’s different than his fellow narwhals. Everything from his short tusk and slow swimming makes him stand out from the pack. His family doesn’t mind though. Kelp just keeps on swimming until one day a strong current sweeps him off course and above water! On land, Kelp befriends all sorts of new animals--including unicorns. Hmm….Kelp can’t help noticing that he looks just like a unicorn. He fits right in. Could Kelp actually be
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
I was browsing the children's section at Barnes and Noble last night and I couldn't help but to plop myself down on the floor and read this book. All I can say, is that if you have a youngster that loves unicorns, you will want to buy this book. The page where the the unicorns are teaching Kelp to shoot rainbows out of his horn...adorable. Come to think of it, I think I want this book.
Jillian Heise
A new favorite! Adorable illustrations, and a story that can be read on many levels. I can see using with younger students relating to friendship and community building, yet with older students it could be read into much more about identity, who we are, how we find our true selves, and acceptance. Love it and will be sharing often!
Cassandra Moore
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's so cute! I love Kelp. :D
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What an adorable little book! Illustrations are wonderful and the story is heart warming. As an adoptee, this book really spoke to me (especially the ending). 5 stars all day long
Adorable illustrations with a beautiful message.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ok just take five minutes and read this book. It's wonderful. If it doesn't make you smile you should seriously question whether or not you are a robot person.
Is Kelp a Narwhal or a unicorn? Find out in this super-adorable book.

I have been meaning to read this book for ages, and today was the day I finally got the chance to read it. Boy, this was just so much fun to read.

Of course, we all know that Kelp isn't a narwhal, come on, it is that obvious, but that definitely didn't lessen the enjoyment of the book. As the main point of this book is that Kelp discovers this himself. He needs to discover who he is, and where he will live in the end.

We see him
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One look at that little character on the cover and I knew I was in for a treat. He is downright adorable. I know you will be just as pleased with little Kelp's story as I am.

Kelp was born deep in the ocean but he is very different than the other narwhals around him. He can't quite put his finger on it but he knows he isn't the same. One look at him convinces you that he definitely is a unicorn but a unicorn living amongst narwhals is very, very unusual indeed.

Yep, Kelp has a tusk but it's not
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: little kids! old kids!
Recommended to Athena by: Hannah Greendale
Shelves: at-library, kids, humor
This is an absolutely terrific little picture book about a Unicorn raised amongst Narwhals. Kelp doesn't quite fit in with his family, although there's no angst about it; then he spies some creatures on the land who look just like him. With the encouragement of his adopted Narwhal community goes to see what they're all about and a lovely story unfolds.

The illustrations are delightful; the gently-told story about identity, belonging and acceptance unfolds easily and without any hint of preachines
I've always been a little anti-princess/pro-unicorn as far as fantasy worlds go and it was a thrill to find this completely sweet picture book featuring Kelp the Narwhal. **cough cough unicorn** (There are just So. Many. Princess. Books.) The illustrations are refreshingly light and playful; I totally laughed out loud a couple of times the first time I read it. The text is pitch perfect with non-preachy/saccharine messages about inclusion, celebrating differences, and being proud of yourself and ...more
Chana Stiefel
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Which are you--a narwhal or a unicorn? An adorable critter named Kelp starts out with his narwhal friends. He looks and feels a little different, and he doesn't love their seafood diet. But he's fine with it all...until a current sweeps him away and carries him to land. There he discovers a family of unicorns who welcome him and set him straight. Kelp enjoys his new friends but misses his narwhal friends too. Can he live in both worlds? A wonderful read with delightful illustrations by debut aut ...more
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-reads

I picked up this super cute picture book for my niece and ended up reading through it myself, because I had to make sure it was age appropriate or some other excuse. The story follows Kelp, a narwhal who doesn’t quite fit in … that is until he meets a group of land narwhals (unicorns) who help him discover his true self.
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very very cute. I burst out laughing when he goes back to the narwhals, afraid to tell them that he is, in fact, a unicorn, and they are like, "Uh-huh. We know that already." (Because duh, look at you.)
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Jessie Sima grew up in a small town in southern New Jersey and now lives and works just outside New York City.

She is the author and illustrator of Not Quite Narwhal , Harriet Gets Carried Away , and Love, Z , and the illustrator of Snow Pony and the Seven Miniature Ponies , written by Christian Trimmer.

Visit her online at!