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Perfectly Norman

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  248 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
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
Paperback, 32 pages
Published August 10th 2017 by Bloomsbury
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For the most part I enjoyed this story about a boy who one day grows wings. The usage of the word "normal" was unsettling.
Well, this was a bit of a disappointment. I get that he wants to hide his wings (we all know what happens to special kids in books), but he never ever uses them anywhere, not at home (secretly of course). Oh, I HAVE WINGS. Oh no, I have to hide them. Why did you get freaking wings if you don't want them apparently? Please donate them to someone who would love them (me!). The ending was pretty typical, but I guess I am happy our little dude finally had the balls to do that.
The art was quite pret
Robert Marsh
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Marvelous, charming book. With surprising, laugh-out-loud moments hidden in the artwork. Makes me want to have kids just so I can read them this book. Wonderful!
Kaisha (The Writing Garnet)
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
All reviews can be found on my blog at

For me, reading and reviewing children’s books on my blog are such a delightful change of scenery. Most books I read cover a wide variety of in-depth, emotional, and often quite serious topics. Reading children’s books however, seem to enlighten the brain in such an innocent and eye-opening manner. ‘Perfectly Norman’ is one of those books, and then some.

Norman has always thought of himself as ‘normal’. But what actually
Christina Reid
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I picked this up from my local library after hearing some other primary teachers mention it. The story follows Normal, an exceedingly normal little boy...until the day when he grows magnificent, colourful wings. At first, he enjoys the freedom they give in, but soon begins to worry that other people don;t have wings and they might judge him because he's different. So he chooses to hide his wings under an old coat, which then prevents him from doing lots of the fun things he used to enjoy.
This is
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is just so darn CUTE! But it also doesn't have a clear "moral" relating to any specific topic but instead a more general one that I think could allow children of all identities to relate to it. I shed a tear while reading and would love to share this with the young people in my life.
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
From the front cover to the last page, this book is perfection. The color palette used throughout is so sweet and eye catching. I love the inclusion of diverse people! The message is so wonderful- it's ok to be normal, but embrace your differences and be YOU! I can't wait to use this in a storytime!
Kristina Jean Lareau
Absolutely incredible.

The color contrast is perfect. The theme is not overwhelming.

Lauren Tess'x
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I know this is a children's book but I just couldn't resist having a peek before I gave it to my neices.

It's a lovely story with great meaning. Never be afraid to be yourself with or without wings!
Laura's Book Addiction
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Perfectly Norman is perfectly perfect. Children need books like this to show them is ok to be yourself and you don't have to be like everyone else. I truly embrace the message of this book. My daughter enjoyed the story and the illustrations are fabulous. A must read for any pre-school child and their parents....
Aliza Werner
A lot of potential in this story for the "what makes you different is what makes you special" and self acceptance, but the text left a lot to be desired.
Beth Pollard
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
At some stage in our life, whether as a child or adult, we will all feel different from others and assume that because of this we won't fit in - Perfectly Norman reinforces the fact that it's ok to be different, and in fact, there are lots of other people who are also different and unique. The contrast of the grey illustrations, which perhaps represent the normality, with the bright yellow coat that Norman wears, highlights how those wings are itching to be set free - being unique can be excitin ...more
Virginie (chouettblog)
What a perfect little picture book!

Children will know very early if they feel “different” and will pick up that they don’t fit the norm if there is such a thing. The message from “Perfectly Norman” is that every child should be perfectly themselves and that sometimes it just means that they might just grow a pair of wings.

Added to this very simple message is a set of perfectly designed illustrations supporting the tale. That one yellow coat representing so many conflicting emotions that we all h
Arathi Anand
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a very cute and inspiring story!!!!! Loved it!
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
The idea of growing a pair of wings and flying off sounds ideal to me. However after a wonderful first adventure in the skies Norman is overcome by worry and hides is wings. Why? Wings aren’t “normal” and what will his parents think? Or his friends? Or strangers?

Visually this book is lovely, Norman is the only character displayed in colour expect for the end. So he stands out, regardless of the fact that he doesn’t want to. The wings are multi-coloured and lovely, it’s sad when they are hidden b
Norman is a perfectly normal little boy until one day he sprouts a pair of wings. His joy quickly dissolves into embarrassment and shame, and he dons a heavy winter coat to hide his wings. He suffers quite a bit of discomfort and more than a little teasing from the other children until, with his parents' gentle encouragement, he decides to take off the coat. Upon seeing his unabashed display, several other children who have also been hiding their wings shed their outer layers of clothing.

I real
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Norman was a perfectly normal kid, until one day he grew wings! He had imagined growing taller, or growing a beard, but never had he thought he’d grow a pair of wings! He soared through the sky, loving every minute of it – until he had to go in for dinner and wasn’t sure how his parents would feel about his new, extraordinary wings… So what did Norman do? He put on a heavy coat and hid his wings. Of course, this made things a bit difficult – mealtime, bathtime, playing with his friends, swimming ...more
Megan Schmelzer
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Open Book Reviews by Megan Schmelzer

Tom Percival’s story, Perfectly Norman, is exquisitely illustrated and written. I just loved it from the moment I opened it.

The characteristic of the story that jumped out at me the most was the juxtaposition between Norman and the other characters and background in the story. Everything is black and white except Norman. Norman is completely illustrated in full color throughout the story. I thought this creative decision was brilliant a
The Reading Countess
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Two word synopsis: Be yourself
I read this book completely different than many reviewers and was surprised to see negative references to the character(s) being gay.👊🏻
1. It never crossed my mind as an adult reader when I saw the little boy attempting to hide his wings that this might be a metaphorical reference.
2. I don’t believe a child will get that reference. Even if a child would grab that reference, is that a bad thing?
3. The parents’ stalwart support of his individuality is what should
Cheriee Weichel
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
One day Norman, a perfectly ordinary boy, grew wings. He enjoyed his first flight and then began to worry about what would happen when others realized he was different.
I was fascinated by how Tom Percival used colour. For the first few pages, everything except Norman is in black and white. Colour explodes on the page as his wings grow in and he experiences flight, but then everything returns to black and white again when he decides to hide his wings.
I especially connected to the part where Nor
Laura Mossa
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Norman lived a perfectly normal life until….he grew a pair of wings. Instead of celebrating his extraordinary wings, Norman hid them inside a great, big, yellow coat. The problem is now Norman is hot, uncomfortable, and miserable. Will Norman ever learn to just be himself?

Perfectly Norman is a heartwarming story about acceptance and learning to be comfortable in your own skin, I mean wings. Rather than celebrating his wonderful gift, Norman becomes worried about being different. Throughout his s
Jun 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I really liked the illustrations of this picture book. I thought the story was sweet. Norman suddenly sprouts wings and feels shy about being a flying child, so he decides to try to hide his wings under a winter summer. Eventually, Norman realizes that he is who he is and he can't change the fact that he has wings, so he flies. And inspires the other flying children (also wearing winter coats) to accept themselves as they are and soar.

Michele Knott
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this one and thought this message was a good one for young readers. Good ladder book to Christopher Myers' "Wings".
I noticed what other reviewers were saying at the end so I went back and looked at the characters. I flipped back and forth between the characters at the end and the characters that were introduced throughout the book and there were perhaps 2 kids that were in both scenes. I interpreted it as only 2 of them were the same, the other kids were new.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Beautiful pictures, but the ending was disappointing. (view spoiler)

A book about being yourself.
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
A short but terrific book about celebrating the wonderful things that make us ourselves. It could be good for kids who feel pulled down by anxieties or who have a hard time being recognized for special qualities. The cheerful illustrations of Norman in flight are filled with beautiful colors.
Jillian Heise
I like the intention of the message, but I'm not sure about the ending - (view spoiler) Enjoyed the illustrations!
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story. Whether your "wings" are a love of anime, a favourite book, or being LGBTQ+, keeping such a huge part of yourself hidden under a coat is no fun.

Text and illustrations were great, and worked well together.
Joseph Crupper
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I felt like I could connect with this book as a possible allegory of feeling queer as a kid, but that’s not necessarily what it is about. The beautiful illustrations and the story are perfect for a storytime.
This is a great picture book with a very good message. A little boy discovers he has wings and tries to hide them. But the burden is not with having the wings.
Emma Adams
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
For a child lacking self confidence it would be very good. Simple story with a message...What is normal? We are all a bit different .
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Tom Percival writes and illustrates picture books (you know, for kids) as well as illustrating books written by other people. The most well known of these is probably the excellent Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy.

He 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 w

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