I made an offer on this book the day I received it. THE DAY I RECEIVED IT! I think that might be a first for me. But I immediately fell in love with Kelp, who is the unicorn at the heart of the story, the art, and the writing. The supremely gifted Jessie Sima knocked it out of the park.
Though Jessie is brand new to all of this, she speaks like a seasoned veteran, expertly discussing how she approaches her illustrations, the numerous revisions she made to each drawing to get the angle, emotion, and narrative quality just right, and her feelings about the industry. I know this because I had a chance to speak with her ahead of the auction that agent Thao Le organized (I wasn't the only one who saw the potential in Not Quite Narwhal). Jessie and I chatted for nearly an hour. (When was the last time you spoke on the phone for an hour?!) We had such a lovely conversation, and I hung up the phone wanting the book even more.
I was on vacation the day of the auction, so my fearless boss went into battle for me. As I came out of the New Amsterdam theater after seeing Aladdin with my partner's kids (and getting a backstage tour!)...
...I checked my email and discovered that I, Christian Trimmer, was going to be the editor of Not Quite Narhwal, along with a to-be-determined second picture book.
It was a great vacation.
Not Quite Narwhal is scheduled for Spring 2017.