I was first introduced to Perfectly Norman, by Tom Percival, during a demo lesson this summer. A candidate for a kindergarten position shared this story as an interactive read aloud with a group of rising first graders and as soon as the demo was over, I ordered a copy of this beautiful story.
Perfectly Norman, is the story of Norman who, one day, sprouts a pair of glorious wings that were so fun until….
he began to worry about what his parents and other people might think. So he decided to cover his wings with a great big coat. As you might expect, life under a great big coat can be kind of “unbearable” and “dreadful.”
In the end, Norman “realized that there was no such thing as perfectly normal...But he was perfectly Norman. Which was just as it should be.”
As I observed the lesson where this book was read, I was so excited by the engagement and enthusiasm from the students. The story and amazing illustrations offered so many opportunities for conversation. The kids noticed the use of color, the changes in feelings, and had rich conversations about what they learned from reading the story.
I love this message of this story and think it is such an important one for kids…and adults! This would make a great beginning of the year read aloud as you foster a strong classroom community where kids begin to feel comfortable and embrace being who they are and get to know and respect one another. I think this would be a story that you could come back to all year long, not only to support your literacy curriculum across grade levels, but also to build upon the the social and emotional needs of students.