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Perfectly Norman

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Perfectly Norman Reviews | Toppsta

Book Rating: 5 based on 23
23 Reviews
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Norman had always been perfectly normal. That was until the day he grew a pair of wings!

Norman is very surprised to have wings suddenly - and he has the most fun ever trying them out high in the sky. But then he has to go in for dinner. What will his parents think? What will everyone else think? Norman feels the safest plan is to cover his wings with a big coat.

But hiding the thing that makes you different proves tricky and upsetting. Can Norman ever truly be himself?

A poignant yet uplifting story about individuality, with stunning artwork in a striking minimal palette from the author/illustrator of Herman's Letter. Fans of Oliver Jeffers and Benj Davies will love it.

Perfectly Norman Reviews | Toppsta

9781408880968

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30th July '18
I read it to Brobee aged 5 aged 5 & to Toodee aged 4 aged 4
Perfectly Norman 9781408880968
5 stars
This is a gorgeous story that explores being different in a really imaginative and thoughtful way. Norman is a little boy who one day wakes up with a pair of huge wings. His mixed feelings about his beautiful new wings really struck a chord with my children and they were able to talk about times when they've felt different as a result. The contrast between the 'normal' black and white background and Norman make the difference really stand out and give children an even clearer understanding about how Norman is feeling inside.
We adore the ending as it sends a really positive message.
19th December '18
I read it to 3R aged 7 to 8
Perfectly Norman 9781408880968
5 stars
This is a lovely story with eye-catching illustrations. It describes what happens when a young boy, Norman, discovers that he has something very special that other children do not have: a pair of wings allowing him to fly. However, he soon feels that he needs to hide these wings. This is a great story about children being different and how to value and treasure those differences.
15th September '18
I read it to Nay-Nay aged 1 aged 1
Perfectly Norman 9781408880968
5 stars
Perfectly Norman is another astounding book by Tom Percival.
Norman, who always believed he was a perfectly normal boy, one day suddenly grows a pair of wings. Now is having wings a normal thing? Or should he keep this unique thing hidden?
A beautiful story that I read to my daughter, the message, like all of Tom’s stories, is ever so simple.
I highly recommend this book, the cover is beautiful, the story is simple with a lovely straight forward message.
A 10 star read. 
10th March '19
I read it to 1Brocks! aged 5 to 6
Perfectly Norman 9781408880968
5 stars
I shared this book with my Year One class on World Book Day, although for any teachers out there, it's also a great text for PSHE/ Mental Health Week, or generally just a story to focus on what makes us special.

The story focuses on Norman, a boy who one day discovers he has grown beautiful wings, but decides to hide them under a coat so that he doesn't look different from anyone else. The illustrations are so evocative, with the world around Norman in grey, and only the boy shown in colour. My class were fascinated by the pictures. Finally Norman is able to embrace his own uniqueness, and encourage others to do the same - this was my class's favourite moment in the book (I spotted two of them looking at and talking about this page in the book corner during free reading time.)

This story doesn't have to be a school one - I could definitely imagine reading it at home to my 6 year old niece - I'm pretty sure she'd love it.
14th August '17
I read it to Samuel aged 1 aged 1
Perfectly Norman 9781408880968
5 stars
Perfectly Norman is a beautiful story about celebrating  differences and having the confidence to be yourself. Norman had always been perfectly normal until the day he grew wings. Initially he is delighted with his wings and has the best fun ever, swooping around in the sky. A bit later, the worries and doubts creep in. His new wings set him out as different. He becomes self-conscious. What will his parents and friends think? How will they react? Will he still be accepted?

He decides to wear a great big coat to keep his extraordinary wings covered up. This makes life difficult. Norman is uncomfortable and too hot. Bath times are problematic. He can't join in with his friends at the swimming pool or on the bouncy castle. Eventually he realises that it's the coat and not his wings that's making him miserable and, with the encouragement of his parents, he throws off his coat and lets his wings fan out once more. By embracing his differences Norman is able to be happy.  His new-found confidence to be himself even inspires other children to do the same.

I was immediately drawn to this book; I love the dazzling neon cover for a start! For me, the book's appeal works on many levels. Its plot is heartwarming and the themes of self-confidence and acceptance are positive and uplifting. Perfectly Norman is also a visual treat. I love the illustrations. Tom Percival's use of colour is really effective. Everything in Norman's world, apart from him, is drawn in shades of black and white. Norman, with his yellow jumper and later his yellow coat, stands out as a pop of colour on each page. It's only in the scenes when Norman has his wings that the rest of the image is bursting with colour too. There's another little detail in the illustrations that I also really liked - the bounce and swoosh in Norman's hair when he's in motion.

Perfectly Norman is a wonderfully reassuring book to share with children. You could read it with a child who's feeling troubled by their own differences. Sharing it with your child, or your class if you work in a school, would also be a great way to build empathy and understanding; it's the perfect prompt to trigger discussions about otherness, acceptance and individuality.
21st August '17
MunchkinMegan read it themselves aged 9 aged 9
Perfectly Norman 9781408880968
5 stars
Perfectly Norman is a perfectly beautiful book. I think i actually love it!

Perfectly Norman completely understands and projects a wonderful message- it is ok to be you!

When Norman suddenly sprouts wings he feels like he has to hide them in fear of people treating him differently, the book spends time exploring how Norman would wear a coat- rather uncomfortably- to hide these beautiful wings he doesn't want anyone to find out about. He ends up completely miserable because he is too hot or too restricted in the coat and comes to realise that it's not the idea of his wings that is making him miserable but in fact the coat he is using to hide his real self.

A story about acceptance, embracing the you within you and discovering that actually you are not alone as there may be many other people experiencing the same feelings about themselves and other peoples opinions of them.

The reassuring tone of the book is beautifully executed, showing that acceptance first lies with yourself. Themes of acceptance, friendship and individuality.

Visually stunning, the combination of colour on greyscale spreads works effortlessly with the text.

A new favourite and highly recommended. 
19th August '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Perfectly Norman 9781408880968
5 stars
Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival is perfectly perfect - a picture book that every child and adult must read!
Norman had always been perfectly normal, until the day he grew a pair of wings! But Norman never imagined a life with wings and afraid of what his parents and school friends might think, Norman hides his wings under a big, stuffy yellow coat. But life proves even more difficult under the constraints of a coat - bath times prove difficult, playing in the park is no longer fun and Norman doesn’t want to go to friends parties anymore. With gentle encouragement by his parents, Norman finds the courage and acceptance he needs to shed off his coat and soar in the sky!
The illustrations are truly wonderful. Norman is the only character displayed in colour compared to his black and white surroundings and this contemplates the story’s theme perfectly. The final spread especially is magnificent!
Children need books like this to show them that it is okay to be yourself and to embrace being different and unique. I can’t wait to see what Tom’s newest book, Ruby’s Worry, will bring!
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About Tom Percival

Tom Percival grew up in a remote and beautiful part of South Shropshire. On reflection this seemed rather more remote than beautiful, owing to the fact that he lived in a small caravan without electricity, mains water or any sensible form of heating. He thinks that he's probably one of the few people in his peer group to have learned to read by gas lam...

More about Tom Percival

About Tom Percival

Tom Percival grew up in a remote and beautiful part of South Shropshire. On reflection this seemed rather more remote than beautiful, owing to the fact that he lived in a small caravan without electricity, mains water or any sensible form of heating. He thinks that he's proba...

More about Tom Percival

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