Saturday 25 June 2016

Who’s got a Normal Family?

Who’s got a Normal Family? by Belinda Nowell, illustrated by Miša Alexander (Little Steps Publishing)

HB RRP $24.95
ISBN: 9781925117752

Reviewed by Anne Hamilton

Alex had exciting news to tell at school. His baby sister arrived last night. She’s a foster kid, just like him. Everyone claps, except for Jimmy Martin. Jimmy doesn’t like anyone to be happy. ‘You don’t have a normal family!’ he yelled.

Well, that made Alex so sad. Even his mum’s hugs didn’t cheer him. But Mum made a good suggestion -- to search through his class photo album to find someone ‘normal’.

One by one, Alex realises there’s no one at school who has a normal family. Perhaps Jimmy Martin comes closest, but his dad’s left home — so does he count? Suddenly, Alex realises why Jimmy doesn’t want anyone to be happy; it’s because he’s not happy himself.

Thus next day, he shares two secrets with Jimmy: (1) where the best lizards live and (2) what his mum said about ‘normal’ families.

This is a perfect book for anyone to share with a child who has worries about their family structure. It’s delightfully illustrated. Although the publisher recommends 3-6 years as the target audience; I felt it was slightly older, perhaps the 4-7 years old bracket.

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