Perfectly Norman - Story Snug

Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival

Perfectly Norman is the story of how Norman’s everyday life changes when he grows a pair of wings. We love the way that Tom Percival sensitively takes us through Norman’s insecurities and experiences until he bravely confronts his anxieties and learns to accept his new situation.

The Story: Norman is a perfectly ordinary boy until one day he grows a pair of wings. He discovers that flying is fun but is so worried about how his parents will react to his wings that he hides them under a big coat. Norman becomes more and more unhappy until one day he takes his coat off. When he goes flying again he gets the most wonderful surprise!

Norman’s uncertainties about the impact of his new wings are brilliantly portrayed. He does his best to hide his wings and we feel his misery as he wears his big coat in various situations including going to the pool and to a birthday party. Norman’s coat gets smellier and smellier until finally, with his parents’ encouragement, he takes his coat off. We absolutely love the scenes that follow and the way that Norman embraces his fears and accepts his new situation.

Tom Percival’s illustrations are stunning and use colour to reflect Norman’s emotions, the spreads where he is trying to hide his wings are black, white and grey with just the yellow of Norman’s coat to remind us of his predicament. Our favourite illustration is the final double spread which is full of colour, joy and happiness as Norman embraces his new situation and we love the humour in the ending (but we don’t want to spoil it for you!). The use of wings to symbolise Norman’s ultimate freedom to be himself is a fantastic use of imagery and shows that when we bravely face our fears we can also ‘fly’.

Perfectly Norman is a fabulous story to stimulate discussion with a child about how normal for one person can be different for another and that despite these differences we are all ‘normal’. Norman’s story can encourage children to accept and face their own uncertainties when facing new situations and shows that being fearful of a new situation is perfectly normal!

Age Range: 3 +

Author / Illustrator: Tom Percival

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16 responses to “Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival”

  1. Acorn books avatar

    Absolutely love this book, it has such a wonderful message and is so sensitively done #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      Yes, I think that the message is shown in a really sensitive and subtle way. I love the way that Tom Percival also uses colour to help convey Norman’s emotions.

  2. Kel @ School Runs and Shopping Trolleys avatar

    This sounds like a lovely book! I might get it for my daughter, as she is autistic and, while she doesn’t realise she’s ‘different’ yet, I’m sure the day will come… #MMBC

    1. Catherine avatar

      I think it’s a good idea to prepare your daughter for a potential situation, books can really help a child deal with a different situation, especially if they can link it to a favourite character.

  3. Yet Another Blogging Mummy avatar

    Sounds a lovely story, although probably a bit young for my boys now #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      It is lovely, very gentle with a great message 🙂

  4. Jenny (The Little Adventurer) avatar

    Oh this sounds (and looks) like a joy to read – I always like a colourful ending! It also sounds like it would be a great one to help a child talk about changes and secrets. I’ll definitely add it to my list. #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      The colourful ending is a wonderful contrast to the greys and whites throughout the book :o)

  5. Bec @IshMotherBec avatar

    This book sounds lovely! I’m always on the lookout for books featuring boys who have a sensitive, vulnerable side (they’re so hard to find) so this one is going on my list! #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      I hope you love Perfectly Norman as much as we do 🙂

  6. Sarah MumofThree World avatar

    This sounds like a fantastic story – entertaining with a really good message!

    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s a fantastic story and we love the moment when Norman takes his coat off 🙂

  7. Chantelle Hazelden avatar
    Chantelle Hazelden

    We actually won this book in a competition. My youngest really enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing with #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      Congratulations1 It’s a great story isn’t it 🙂

    2. BookBairn avatar

      Me too!! Love the premise of this book – such a great talking point for young readers. #readwithme

      1. Catherine avatar

        It’s a great stimulus for talking about how we are all ‘normal’ despite our differences 🙂