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.
Kelp has a narwhal-like horn, but it's kind of short, and he has trouble swimming like the other narwhals. On land, he discovers why: he's a unicorn. (Kelp has a transparent diving helmet, so breathing underwater is no problem.) Fortunately, both unicorns and narwhals accept him warmly: "he didn't have to choose." Newcomer Sima's plot holds few surprises it's pretty much a standard-issue, born-in-the-wrong-family tale but her adorable characters trigger smiles throughout, whether it's the newborn Kelp tucked snugly into a sea scallop or unicorns using their horns to toast marshmallows. Vignettes show Kelp unsuccessfully imitating crabs ("Oof") and frogs ("Ow") as he tries learning to walk, reassuring readers that they're not the only ones who struggle to master new skills. By contrast, the text eschews cuteness for dry humor: "Land narwhals!" exclaims Kelp upon seeing unicorns for the first time. "Actually we're unicorns," says an adult, as the other unicorns cavort through rainbows and freshets of clear water. "And by the looks of it, so are you!" Naturally, the story concludes with a festive party for both single-horned species. Ages 4 8.