Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Not Norman - Kelly Bennett - Noah Z. Jones

Not Norman by Kelly Bennett, illus. by Noah Z. Jones
I love this book and was happy to see that it was being released in paperback. It reminds me of My Penguin Osbert by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. Both are stories about boys who want a pet. After getting a pet the boys have interesting decision to make. In the case of Not Norman its whether or not to keep the fish. The boy (he has no name, so I'll call him Norman's friend) .Norman's friend is not happy about his birthday goldfish. This is where the fun starts. The text is great.

When I got Norman I didn't want to keep him.
I wanted a different kind of pet
Not Norman
I wanted a pet who could run and catch.
One who could climb trees and chase strings.
A soft furry pet to sleep on my bed at night.
Not Norman.

In the beginning Norman's friend is determined to get a better pet. Though of course as the story goes on he realizes Norman's not so bad. Its natural realization, that doesn't seem forced or preachy.
Noah Z. Jones beautiful and warm color illustrations always pulls me in. Not Norman's fishical expressions are a very nice touch

Not Norman makes a great read aloud.

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