Each week I review books we’ve read with Squirm. Find other reviews here
Norman Enormous by Dave Hackett
Norman is Enormous, living in a house with a roof that’s too short and a floor that’s too high. He desperately wants a best friend of his own, so he gets in contact with an old friend – Norman Not-So-Enormous – who is definitely smaller than most. Although their dinner starts off on an uncomfortable note, they soon realise they have a lot in common.
This is a sneakily funny book, told completely in rhyme. It’s one of those books where the illustrations are just as important as the text and it’s worth spending some time looking over them. Most of all, I really like that the message – that you can find ‘your people’ if you’re willing to look for them – isn’t overly cloying – it’s there without being shoved down your throat.
This would be an excellent book to look at size with – especially thinking about what things would be different or would need to change if you were very big or very small. In that way, you could also connect it with other books – the Borrowers immediately sprung to mind, even if it’s just the parts talking about how they use the normal household items differently. You could also take that into making your own dolls house!
The Queen with the Wobbly Bottom by Phillip Gwynne
The Queen (a hippo) has a bottom that wobbles like jelly and she would do almost anything to get rid of it. She offers rewards to anyone who can get rid of her wobbly bottom, but when creams, contraptions and exercise don’t help, she starts throwing people into the dungeon. Then a poet comes up with a novel idea . . .
This is a very funny story about people showing you how awesome you really are. The poet’s solution is ingenious and lovely, even if the Queen doesn’t initially agree. And I love how the characters are drawn throughout the book – another lot of illustrations which contribute to the story.
With this book, an obvious activity would be to write a lovely poem about the Queen. You could also talk about using positive affirmations – about how hearing and saying nice things about ourselves make us feel better. There’s also jelly making and experimenting which would be wonderful with this book. You could also look at the different animals in it and some of the things which they might dislike or like about their features and why.
Have you read a book about an unusual friendship?