Nuts About Narwhals
Narwhals are having a bit of a moment right now in kids books and we are not sad about it! Narwhals are majestic creatures of the ocean and affectionately known as the "Unicorns of the Sea".
What's not to love about a massive unicorn like sea creature whose tusk is really a tooth! I'm loving all these whimsical illustrations in the books we've read.
*Fun Fact - a Narwhal's tooth can grow up to 3 meters long! *
These are a few of our favourite Narwhal books at the moment.
1. Wendell the Narhwal by Emily Dove
I love the illustrations in this book about a Narwhal struggling to find his musical voice/talent in the sea.
2. Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima
This is the sweetest book about belonging and family. It's actually about a unicorn that thinks it's a narwhal and lives with a pod of narwhals until he swims close to land and finds a herd of unicorns. I won't tell ya anymore but it's adorable. You should read it.
LAND NARWHALS! I can't even. So cute.
3. Narwhal Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton
Both my kids and I are big fans of these Narwhal and Jelly books. They are full of whimsy, fun and humour. They remind me of the elephant and piggie of the sea.
4. Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt
This sequel comic to Narwhal is just as fun as the first book. My kids love the simple illustrations and the silly humour. Narwhal is pretty witty.
I often like to use books that we read together as jumping off points for activities in our school day. Just like Mo Willems books I feel that the Narwhal and Jelly books show how comics don't need to have extremely detailed drawings to be effective and enjoyable.
Narwhal and Jelly are very easy to draw! My kids work is buried in file folders right now so I'll just have to use mine. Like I've mentioned before I do a LOT of the same activities my kids do. I involve myself in the process with them, they get to see the process worked through, there's a feeling of commraderie in doing it together and I just genuinely enjoy it.
Creating their own Narwhal and Jelly comic strip is a super simple activity that any kid can do! Pre-writers will likely even be able to draw them and often at that age my daughter would just use symbols and expressions to tell her story. Other times I just act as the scribe and jot down her dialogue.
* Kai's Fun Fact - the Narwhal's tusk tooth has the enamel on the inside and the sensitive part on the outside and they use that sensitivity to get information about what is around them. *
What I think my kids love about this kind of activity is that they get to join in and continue the story. They get to take characters that they've grown to enjoy on any adventure they choose.
It's also nice because they don't have to do the work of creating the character, working out personality and character traits, they can just pick up where the author left off and run with it.
We do lots where they are developing their own characters but it's nice to be able skip some of the work at times. However, a fun idea would be to create a new character to introduce to the ocean.
Have you read any of these books or know of any other great Narwhal books? We'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions! Message us or comment on instagram or Facebook!