Not Norman: A Goldfish Story

Book Information
Rating: Outstanding
Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool, Primary
Author: Kelly Bennett
Illustrator: Noah Z. Jones
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Year: 2005
ISBN: 9780763688325
Pages: 24

In this book, a little boy receives a pet fish for a birthday present. He isn't thrilled because he wanted a different kind of pet that can interact more with him through playing catch, chasing strings, or cuddling up with him at night--but not Norman the goldfish who just swims around in a fishbowl. The boy decides he is going to try to trade Norman for a different pet, but in the process finds out that the fish can make him laugh, is a good listener, and is always there for him. A relationship develops between the boy and his pet fish and when the boy gets the chance to take the goldfish back to the pet store, he decides he wouldn't trade Norman for any other pet in the whole world.

This book features lots of vibrantly colored pictures that explore the boy's changing feelings about his pet goldfish that captivate the youngest of readers. Parents and teachers alike will love that it teaches children that it is okay to think you feel one way, but after time and experience to feel a different way. It has easy to read sentences full of sight words while still introducing readers to a few new vocabulary words, such a maestro. This book is also great for primary readers because it has reading comprehension questions at the end of the story to deepen the understanding of concepts and themes of the story. Overall, it is a great book for not only increasing literacy skills, but also for developing social-emotional skills in a media that hold kids' attention.