November 8, 2016


In Tara Lazar and S Britt's Normal Norman we see the girl project her insecurities about normalcy onto a purple and yellow gorilla. Normal Norman tells the story of a girl of a young scientist who is narrating her first book in order to scientifically determine the definition of "normal." And she does so with her trusty "normal" gorilla Norman.

The scientist measures everything from the gorilla's head size to its food consumption and defines what she believes to be "normal" like bananas over pizza and a nuclear family over a stuffed animal. But rather than all this criticism holding Norman back, he takes it upon himself to prove the girl wrong and show her just what he's capable of doing, like driving a dune buggy and deep-sea diving. The young girl learns to see all the fun she could have if she lets herself go a little.

This book is so incredibly colorful: We see color everywhere, from speech bubbles to backgrounds, to the text itself to even the endpapers (which are also amazing). Normal is a mixture of purples, greens, and blues with yellow accents, which might not be "normal" but they're so much more fun to look at.

Normal Norman might be a book about defining the mainstream, but it stands out in every way.

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