Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival

I love a book that celebrates individuality and finding, and loving, what makes you unique. Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival (Bloomsbury) does just that.

‘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?’

Published today (hooray!), Perfectly Norman is a delight. The illustrations are delicious. I’m particularly fond of the illustrations of Norman’s parents and the diversity shown in the characters throughout. Bravo, Tom.

Using a Schindler’s List style grey scale with Norman picked out in brilliant yellow, the message is clear from the start. Norman is special. 

His wings are what make him stand out from the crowd. It’s only when he sees some birds – also in colour – that he realises that his wings are what make him happy. 

And for a lot of books that would be enough. The protagonist learns to be himself and love himself. Lovely stuff, the end. But not for Tom Percival. He has a stronger message to share with children. Because when Norman finally shrugs off that coat and flies off into the sky, he gives others the confidence to be themselves too. They join him, celebrating their own wings. When he has the courage to be himself he finds his people. And that is an ending to be proud of. 

You can get your copy here.

Source – kindly sent for review by Bloomsbury Children’s Books. With thanks to Faye Rogers for inviting me to be part of the blog tour celebrating this gorgeous book. 

Check out the rest of the tour here:


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