Naughty Norman by Leora Lazarus

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Afternoon readers, today I have another children’s book for you to be reviewed. I have recently really found a love for reviewing children’s books because they are so important for kick-starting that love of reading that will then span into the future. I cannot thank my parents enough for investing so much time taking me to the library, dragging me away from the library and reading to me every night. I know, having a friend who now works in the education system that many children don’t get the same privilege. I’m not sure where I would be if I wasn’t reading and didn’t have this adoration of literature that is impossible to quash. A children’s book needs to ignite that passion of reading, so let’s see if this one hits the mark.

Naughty Norman is a beloved character in Teacher Lee’s preschool classroom. He has helped educate thousands of children and he never fails to make circle time fun. Now Naughty Norman can teach counting skills and time concepts to pre-schoolers and early readers in your home

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So the blurb gives next to nothing away which isn’t an issue although it does give you an idea of what’s to come. The basic premise of the book is that Naughty Norman is hiding. Not in the most intelligent places as you discover later on but for now, yes, he is hiding. Norman thinks that he can hide for one whole day and that everyone will miss him. The book counts the minutes as Norman goes through a range of possibilities as the time clicks on, missing breakfast, maybe the house will be sold? Maybe everyone will forget about him? Will Norman be found? It’s something your little ones will find out at the end of the book.

So, what did I think? I actually really enjoyed this book. As my mother will lovingly recall, telling the time was a terribly difficult skill to learn for me. Reading I seemed to pick up with no problem at all, missing phonics and just reading. However, the time, that was a toughie for this little blogger. I thought the illustrations were really lovely. They have the feel that they’ve been drawn by a child and although I’m sure they’re not because they’re a little too brilliant I think they match the tone of the book wonderfully. Although the story doesn’t tell a particular moral or tell a complex story the idea of the minutes counting up and different thoughts appearing in the mind of our main character the book feels as though it has substance as a tale.

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I did also really like the plot of the book. I am sure many of us as children can remember running away to hide, thinking we’ve been away hours to find only a couple of minutes have past. I think this would make a great read-aloud book for both parents and children. My only criticism is based on the age of the book and the illustrations I think the text could have been a little longer. Although the images are quite big it felt as though there was a larger capacity to teach more to the children reading it because it felt like it was a little easy in terms of the length of the text actually in the book. However I think the words used were the perfect age range and that they sat well together.

Overall this is a sweet book with some really nice ideas and one I think readers would really enjoy. I thought the plot line was a lovely thought and the writing style was brilliant for children. With a little more text I thought this could have been more educational however a book I would definitely read to a little one.

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