________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 4. . . September 29, 2017


Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt. (A Narwhal and Jelly Book 2).

Ben Clanton.
Toronto, ON: Tundra, 2017.
64 pp., hardcover & eBook, $16.99 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-10191-829-6 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-10191-830-2 (eBook).

Grades 1-4 / Ages 6-9.

Review by Kay Weisman.

**** /4



Ahoy, Jelly!

Hey Narwhal! What’s up?

I was just about to go for a swim. After that I’ll have something for lunch, probably a waffle, and then … I’m going to become a Superhero!

What?! Narwhal, you can’t just become a superhero. It takes a lot to be a superhero.

Like what?

Um…well for a start, superheroes have … super outfits.

How about this?

WHOA! Okay, so you look really good, but do you have a super name?

How about … SUPER NARWHAL!!!

Hmmm … catchy. But what about a secret identity?


This sequel to Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea finds this upbeat, waffle-loving sea creature determined to become a superhero. Good friend Jelly assists him in his quest by teaching Narwhal all about superhero requirements: costumes, names, secret identities, sidekicks, and superpowers. Narwhal’s prepared for most of these details, but superpowers leave him stumped. Narwhal can’t make himself invisible, he isn’t particularly strong, and he has no clue how to save the world. In two other stories, Narwhal helps a sea star become celestial (cannons and wishes are involved) and cheers up Jelly Jolt, proving that his real superpower is bringing out superpowers in others.

     Clanton’s appealing pencil, watercolor, and ink artwork is digitally colored, favoring blues, grays, and cheerful yellows. He makes good use of graphic novel conventions (simple panels, rough doodle drawings, and easily recognizable emotion lines) and humour, adding to the story’s charm. Two sidebar chapters are interspersed into the narrative: one highlights real sea creatures with unusual abilities; the other features a related graphic adventure starring Super Waffle and Strawberry Sidekick. This series makes a perfect choice for budding graphic novel enthusiasts who have outgrown Mo Willems’ “Elephant and Piggie” books. A final panel indicates more titles are in the works. In the meantime, stock up on multiple copies of this one.

Highly Recommended.

Kay Weisman works as a youth services librarian at West Vancouver Memorial Library and chairs the Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada’s Information Book Award.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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