STARRED REVIEW
May 2018

Spread your wings

illustrated by Tom Percival
Review by

A “perfectly normal” boy named Norman has his world rocked when he marvelously grows a set of pretty, multicolored wings in Tom Percival’s book Perfectly Norman.

Share this Article:

A “perfectly normal” boy named Norman has his world rocked when he marvelously grows a set of pretty, multicolored wings in Tom Percival’s book Perfectly Norman.

Norman begins his day in an ordinary fashion, playing with his dog and friends and enjoying ice cream, when suddenly he sprouts a pair of huge, glorious wings. He does the expected thing and tests them out, soaring, swooping and having the greatest fun. However, when Norman returns to earth, he decides to hide his extraordinary wings because they are not normal. Donning a winter coat, Norman tucks his wings inside to keep them secret. He suffers from the heat and sits on the sidelines while other children run and play. Even after he’s bullied for wearing the coat, Norman steadfastly keeps his spectacular wings hidden.

As Norman realizes the coat makes him miserable, not the wings, he shyly sheds the jacket and begins to soar through the sky again. Norman’s acceptance of his wings allows others with the same “problem” to embrace their differences and zoom along with him.

When he is earthbound, Norman is highlighted in bright yellow against a grayed-out background—but when he is flying, the world is portrayed in all the colors of the rainbow. Through Norman’s struggles to accept his wings, Percival highlights how our differences make us who we are. Best of all, Norman realizes he’s perfectly Norman, which is just right.

 

This article was originally published in the May 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

Perfectly Norman

Perfectly Norman

illustrated by Tom Percival
Bloomsbury
ISBN 9781681197852

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres.

Sign Up

Sign up to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres!