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Viewing Post from: Lori Calabrese Writes!
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The official blog of award-winning children's author, Lori Calabrese. You'll find book reviews & recommendations, author interviews, writers tips and recommendations, and everything related to children's publishing.
1. Not Norman: A Goldfish Story

Not Norman: A Goldfish Story

Author: Kelly Bennett
Illustrator: Noah Z. Jones
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (March 11, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0763627631
ISBN-13: 978-0763627638

Every child faces the excruciating agony of choosing the perfect pet. Maybe he or she dreams of romping through the backyard with man's best friend, or snuggling in bed with a soft, furry kitten. But a fish? Not Norman is a wonderful book that teaches about misjudging something or somebody.

A little boy is heartbroken when he receives a goldfish for his birthday. After all, he wanted "a pet who could run and catch. Or one who could climb trees and chase strings. A soft, furry pet to sleep on my bed at night. Not Norman." Goldfish aren't the most exciting pets. What can you do besides stare at them swimming in their bowl? So the little boy takes Norman to show and tell, hoping someone else will want him. However, as time goes by, the little boy learns to appreciate Norman. Norman makes the little boy laugh by performing acrobatics, listens during his show and tell presentation when nobody else does, and is close by to comfort the little boy when scared at night.

The simple story is very clever and the twist comes at the end. Throughout the book, the little boy states the qualities he was looking for in a pet. Each ends with the repetitive line: Not Norman. But by the end of the book, Not Norman comes to mean something else. He decides he wouldn't trade Norman for "any pet in the whole world."

The vibrant colors in the digital artwork add to this amusing picture book. You'll love seeing the boy peek through the fishbowl, Norman blowing bubbles, and Norman getting down to the little boy's tuba playing.

So the next time your child wants a pet and complains about a little old goldfish, consider reading Not Norman. It will give them a whole new look on man's best friend.

3 Comments on Not Norman: A Goldfish Story, last added: 4/10/2009
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