Bound To Stay Bound

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 Not quite narwhal
 Author: Sima, Jessie

 Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2017)

 Classification: Easy
 Physical Description: [34] p., col. ill., 23 cm

 BTSB No: 819645 ISBN: 9781481469098
 Ages: 4-8 Grades: K-3

 Unicorns -- Fiction
 Narwhal -- Fiction
 Identity (Psychology) -- Fiction

Price: $21.58

Born deep in the ocean, Kelp is not like the other narwhals and one day, when he spies a creature on land that looks like him, he learns why.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: LG
   Reading Level: 3.30
   Points: .5   Quiz: 191147

   Kirkus Reviews (11/15/16)
   School Library Journal (01/01/17)
   Booklist (02/01/17)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (01/17)

Full Text Reviews:

Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2017 Kelp’s got the single tusk like his narwhal family and friends, but the rest of his body doesn’t seem to be cut out for swimming: four legs and a hairy tail does not a smooth, gliding form make. When he’s swept away by a current (he really is a terrible swimmer) and washes up on shore, he’s found by a group of helpful “land narwhals”; they explain that he, like them, is a unicorn, and they happily school him on all the ways of unicorn-ness. As much as he enjoys his land life, he misses his narwhal family. Can he reconcile the two essential parts of his identity? Of course he can, proven by the epically adorable last scene in which narwhals and unicorns are happily cavorting on a beach, playing water volleyball, building sandcastles, and having a grand hoopla of a time surrounded by, what else, rainbows. The digitally created art makes Kelp’s land and sea settings distinctly different: dappled, watercolor-like textures float through the marine scenes while sharper, more contrasted elements fill the landlubbing pages. Panels and speech balloons help move the action along and keep the humor lively. The real appeal, however, lies in Sima’s brilliant and savvy details: Kelp uses bijou arm floaties when swimming with the narwhals, a crab waves its tiny claws in farewell to Kelp, and unicorns wield their horns to roast marshmallows. Swap the tired Ugly Duckling for this delightfully absurd tale of knowing who you are and where you came from. KQG - Copyright 2017 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

School Library Journal - 01/01/2017 PreS-Gr 2—The "not quite" narwhal in this story is Kelp, an adorable unicorn, born underwater and living with an equally adorable school of narwhals. His tusk is kind of short, he's not a very good swimmer, and narwhal food is just gross, but his life is pretty great. Kelp is accepted by the narwhals, and he accepts himself as he is. But one day, a strong current drops him on a beach, where he learns to walk (after hysterically imitating a crab and a frog, he finds that a turtle is the best model) and discovers a whole herd of "land narwhals" who look just like him. Little Kelp's new life is awash in rainbows and unicorns—he almost doesn't want to go home. Of course, home isn't quite the same after his adventure, but luckily everyone is on his side. The narwhals and unicorn meet at the beach, and Kelp ends his story in the best of both worlds. Sima draws digitally on a Wacol drawing tablet and has created charming undersea and overland settings on full-bleed spreads. Her narrative is short, with 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. VERDICT Useful for ELA curricula and sure to circulate, this title is highly recommended.—Lisa Lehmuller, Paul Cuffee Maritime Charter School, Providence - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 02/01/2017 Sima’s sweet debut features an adorable unicorn with an identity problem. Kelp has spent his whole life living underwater with a pod of narwhals—he wears a glass helmet with a hole for his horn—and he’s always known he’s different. Luckily, the narwhals don’t seem to mind, even when he must wear water wings to swim. But when a strong current takes him close to shore and he spies creatures that look just like him, his curiosity is sparked, so he sets out on land and eventually finds them: “Land narwhals!” he says, to which a land narwhal replies, “Actually, we’re unicorns. And by the looks of it, so are you!” Kelp worries about having to choose between the land and sea, but the unicorns and narwhals are a resourceful, understanding bunch, and they come up with a solution that makes everyone happy. Sima’s bubbly, adorable artwork is nearly irresistible, particularly tiny Kelp, whose cartoonish gestures and expressions unmistakably communicate his emotions. This endearing tale will warm many a heart. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.

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