First, the illustrations of Emily Dove were off putting to me. I know I have said it before, I appreciate the time and work that goes into creating art, and I do this time as well. But when I am not “feeling it” it just means that I am not the audience for it. This time, the audience would be for a crowd that likes a mixture of classically looking illustrations with a modern twist to them. They are abstract, yet realistic enough to know what each animal is supposed to be.
Second, the story is straight forward: when a slightly jealousy Wendell is upset he cannot make music like the others (he cannot pop or clap or even whoosh) he causes trouble when he bangs his horn loudly. This causes the all the music of the ocean to stop. But when the noises stop it is too quiet. Whereas it was too loud before. Can there be a happy medium? Of course, the ocean creatures know just what to do.
Finally, the idea that “everyone can play music but not Wendell” has been done before. There is nothing new in Dove’s Wendell the Narwhal. We have seen the story of finding your own talents before.
With all of this said, if this is the first time your toddler, grandchild or even students have been exposed to this type of story, it would work well. Reading the Amazon reviews shows I am in the minority has it has only gotten 5 stars.