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From the Narwhal and Jelly series, volume 8

by Ben Clanton ; illustrated by Ben Clanton

Pub Date: July 4th, 2023
ISBN: 9780735266742
Publisher: Tundra Books

The power of friendship helps Jelly manage Halloween anxiety.

In this eighth volume of the radiantly upbeat buddy series, Narwhal is excited about Halloween and happily ponders what costume to choose. Best friend Jelly is more apprehensive, telling Narwhal, “I don’t like all the scary stuff.” Despite Jelly’s plainly vocalized fears, Narwhal charges ahead, eager to find the perfect look. Having had enough, Jelly decides to lie low until Halloween is over. When Turtle and Shelly swim up frantically, announcing that a hungry monster is close, Jelly worries about Narwhal’s safety and rallies a group for a search. With friends close, Jelly channels Narwhal’s positive energy and can-do optimism in hopes of saving the day. Clanton’s latest is abundantly fun and sweet, reminding readers that Halloween scares may not suit everyone but that everyone has the capacity for bravery. Those who may not embrace all the spooktacular scares of Halloween will appreciate Jelly’s worries and subsequent coping strategies. Like earlier series titles, which contained facts and stories between chapters, this offering features tidbits about real-life creepy undersea life and a further installment of Super Waffle and Strawberry Sidekick. Clanton’s energetic, childlike art is delightful as always. Narwhal and Jelly’s adventure is an easy crowd pleaser that will keep pages turning to a satisfying conclusion.

A gloriously funny and feel-good take on Halloween from a wildly popular series.

(Graphic fiction. 6-10)