Normal Norman

This is a bright, amusing story of a young girl determined to define ‘normal’ through an apparently normal orangutan named Norman.

Stephan Britt’s illustrations are vibrant and chaotic, at odds with the determinedly logical experiment the narrator is attempting. The narrator directly speaks to the reader throughout the story, making this a great picturebook both for a child to read themselves, and for an adult to read to them.

The tongue-in-cheek details are brilliant, especially the signs pointing to everything normal about Norman or the background scene. The narrator’s ultimate realisation – there is no definite normal, only how comfortable we are with ourselves and each other’s differences — is wonderful, ending the book on a high, feel-good note.