Review: Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima
Okay, so there are still no bisexual children’s picture books. I’m not reviewing this because it is a bisexual children’s picture book.
But Not a Narwhal, is a book about breaking down binaries. And frankly is just awesome. In a world with no bisexual picture books, it can at least thematically give bisexual parents a way to talk to their kids about how life is more than a choice between opposites.
Kelp is a little unicorn raised by narwhals. Even though he is clearly different and not always good at narwhal tasks like swimming, his community loves him. One day he goes to the surface and sees an animals that looks like him on the shore. He finds a community of unicorns and finds out he is one of them, but still goes back to his loving community in the sea. Only he is not happy there.
What I like about this book (and why it functions as a good metaphor for bisexuality) is that the answer isn’t for him to live only with the unicorns or only with the narwhals. The answer for Kelp is to throw a big party on the beach so narwhals and unicorns can all play together. The answer isn’t a choice between a binary, it is about making space in the (literal) middle ground.
Also the art is ungodly adorable, and full of rainbows:
So while we wait for a truly bisexual children’s picture book, this one is a boundary busting delight that can begin to open up bi-friendly conversations between parents and children.