Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival – Blog Tour 


Synopsis 

Norman had always been perfectly normal. That was until the day he grew a pair of wings! 

Norman is very surprised to have wings suddenly – and he has the most fun ever trying them out high in the sky. But then he has to go in for dinner. What will his parents think? What will everyone else think? Norman feels the safest plan is to cover his wings with a big coat.

But hiding the thing that makes you different proves tricky and upsetting. Can Norman ever truly be himself?

A poignant yet uplifting story about individuality, with stunning artwork in a striking minimal palette from the author/illustrator of Herman’s Letter. Fans of Oliver Jeffers and Benj Davies will love it.

Add it to your Library on Goodreads 

Book Trailer

Author & Illustrator Information
 

Tom Percival writes and illustrates picture books and has also produced covers and internal illustrations for the Skulduggery Pleasant series. Tom has written and illustrated three books for Bloomsbury: HERMAN’S LETTER, BUBBLE TROUBLE and the forthcoming HERMAN’S HOLIDAY. He grew up in a remote and beautiful part of South Shropshire. He now lives in a far more conventional building (a house), with his girlfriend and their young sons. 

 Website        Twitter

 What I Thought

Ok. So as a nearly 40 yr old (1 week and 3 days to go!) I guess Picture Books aren’t directed at me. But, whatever your age you can appreciate a good story and good art and Perectly Norman has both. 

The art style is adorable and I love that the focus is on Norman throughout by having him in colour and the rest in monochrome. 

The theme of the story is so important and the fact that Norman’s ‘difference’ is that he has wings could be used as a metaphor for so many things. His fear of being seen as abnormal leads him to wear a big coat. Another metaphor for hiding. Norman finds he struggles to engage in everyday life, he gets bullied and he gets depressed. But when he is encouraged to be himself his heart and body soar and life is colourful again. He also finds out that he wasn’t quite so alone in being different after all. 

What a brilliant message told in a beautiful way. 

What it’s like to have wings 

When I was asked to take part in the blog tour it seemed like fate was playing a part. This weekend has been the New Forest Fairy Festival and I have sprouted my own wings. 

On Saturday I went as a Book Fairy with my homemade Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows wings. I also gave out free books and loved to see the joy of reading in the recipients’ eyes. 



Today I’m wearing wings made by Mabin Rhys Wings (headpiece by me). 



It’s so important to have safe spaces for people to let their personality, loves and passions shine. You aren’t alone, there are others who have wings too. 

 Please read this book with your children, and let them know it’s ok to be Perfectly Them. 

Today is the last stop on the blog tour but do go check out the previous blogs. 

The Moonlight Dreamers series – Guest post by author Siobhan Curham


The Moonlight Dreamers and its sequel Tell it to the Moon follow four girls: Amber, Maali, Sky and Rose on their quest to follow their dreams and find themselves. I really enjoyed these tales of friendship and, for me, they were reminiscent of films I love such as Now and Then, and Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. Many friendship stories follow girls who grow up together, or go to school together but it was refreshing to see that there is friendship outside these confines. These were both really charming and enjoyable stories and perfect reads for feel good vibes. 

I have been lucky enough to interview author Siobhan Curham and her four characters to find out a little more about how the Dreamers came about and where they are shooting for next. 

Character Qs

Amber 

How did you come up with The Moonlight Dreamers Club?

I was really tired of being picked on by the numbskulls in school for being different. Just because I have two dads, who happen to be gay, and just because I like to dress in vintage men’s clothes, it doesn’t mean I deserve to be picked on. I don’t understand why being different is seen as such a bad thing. Being the same as everyone else is so boring. I came up with the idea for starting a secret society called The Moonlight Dreamers because I wanted to meet other people who didn’t want to fit in; other people who craved excitement and adventure. And I was inspired to do so by my hero, Oscar Wilde.

Why do you like Oscar Wilde so much?

Because he was proud of being different. He came out at a time when it was really hard to be openly gay – he even went to jail because of his sexuality. He lived life on his terms and he was a great writer. I have a collection of his quotes that I always use for inspiration. It’s impossible to pick a favourite one, but one of my favourites is this: ‘Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.’
Maali

How are belonging to The Moonlight Dreamers and belonging to a religion comparable and different? 

Being a Moonlight Dreamer and being Hindu both make me feel happier and more secure in myself and my life. Both of them bring me loads of joy. They’re different in that my faith feels like a more personal thing, something I often do on my own – either meditating or praying to my favourite goddesses. And the Moonlight Dreamers is a more of a social thing – and usually way more noisy – especially when Rose gets going! I feel so blessed that I’ve been given such awesome friends.

Why is the idea of finding a soulmate so important to you? 

I’ve always been a true romantic. Even when I was a little girl, I loved making up stories in my head about marrying a prince and living happily ever after. I love the idea that everyone has a soul mate out there waiting to be found by them. The trouble is, when I feel like I’ve found mine I turn into a jabbering wreck! I wish I could be as confident as Rose or Sky – or just not care about love, like Amber. But sadly, I’m a stumbling, stammering disaster area when it comes to boys I like! I say and do the most embarrassing things. I’m starting to worry that even if I did meet my soulmate I’d make him run away – or die laughing … and not in a good way!

Sky 

If you ever imagined having a sister what would she have been like? 

After my mum died, I really wished I had a sister – or brother – who knew exactly what I was going through and could share the pain. Whenever I imagined having a sister I’d imagine someone quite like me – like, into poetry and nature and travelling and stuff. But then I got Rose as a step-sister and that blew all my imaginings out of the water. When I first met Rose I hated her so much I was really glad I’d been born an only child! It’s so funny now, thinking of how much I hated her back then. Now I’m a Moonlight Dreamer it feels like I’ve got three sisters – and I wouldn’t change them for anything.

What did you really think when you saw the invite to The Moonlight Dreamers Club? 

I was a little bit weirded out by it but thankfully I was so intrigued I replied anyway. And I really liked the look of the girl in the vintage store who put the invite in my bag. She really intrigued me. It’s so weird thinking that she’s now one of my best friends! That was a really important lesson for me – that if something seems weird or scary but it makes you a bit excited too, you should go for it. My life has changed so much for the better since replying to that invite.

Rose 

If you ever imagined having a sister what would she have been like?

I have three sisters. My Moonlight Dreamers are my soul sisters – the best kind of sisters. The kind you’d tell anything to and even lay down your life for. And I’d lay down my life for all of them, no question – even though Sky’s been pissing me off a bit lately, since she’s found true lurrrve. 

What does The Moonlight Dreamers club mean to you? 

Everything. My girls keep me sane – something my parents on their Planet Celebrity, definitely do not!

Author Qs

Siobhan

How did you come up with The Moonlight Dreamers?

I love encouraging young people to believe in themselves and their dreams as this was something I really struggled with when I was a teen. I gave up on my writing dream and dropped out of uni because – coming from a poor family on a council estate – I didn’t think I had what it took to make it in the middle class world of writing. Thankfully, I found the confidence to overcome my doubts and fears and now I want to stop other people from making the mistakes I did. I created the Moonlight Dreamers because I wanted to show how hard it can be to navigate your journey into adulthood but, with the help of friends, a hero like Oscar Wilde and some self belief, anything is possible. In the second book, Tell it to the Moon, I really put the characters to the test because it was equally important for me to show how sometimes dreams don’t come true – but if you keep the faith, something even better might happen. This is exactly how it’s been for me in my life. Disappointments, difficulties and unachieved dreams have always led to bigger and better things.

What’s more important – Dreams or Belonging? 

What a great question! Would it be cheating to say, they’re both equally important? It’s so important to have a sense of belonging – in your own skin and in the world – but sometimes, when that’s missing, a dream can be what saves you and ultimately leads to that feeling of belonging. I think maybe they go hand in hand.

What’s next for the girls? 

I would love to write a final book about them when they’re seventeen / eighteen. I’ve loosely sketched the idea out in my mind – Amber on an Oscar Wilde inspired gap year, Sky going off to uni, Maali in her final year at school and still, no doubt, searching for her soul mate, Rose blazing an entrepreneurial trail and causing a riot somewhere. It would be great to see the Moonlight Dreamers start to make their way out into the world as adults. I’m also considering writing a screen adaptation because so many readers have told me that they’d love to see it filmed … and offering to help with the casting! I’d love that too – it would be a dream come true.

 

Huge thanks  to Siobhan and the Dreamers. Count me in the ‘would love to see the books filmed’ camp too. Thanks to Katarina from Walker for sending me Tell it to the Moon (which publishes this month). Moonlight Dreamers had already called to me and was already on my TBR pile. Opinions are, as ever, my own. Have you read the books? Tell me what you think? 

 

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Maloy – Blog Tour 

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy is a tightly paced thriller from Penguin Viking which is out now

Set on a Christmas cruise in Central America it follows three families and their search for their missing children after a day trip goes very awry. 

At the start, the book reads as a domestic drama, with two of the families being long term friends that clearly have more than their holiday packaging as baggage. 

Clearly some inspiration has been taken from real cases, and where to place the blame when something like this happens, is explored. 

We are not limited to the points of view of a few characters but instead hear from most of them over the course of the story, including the children and a few added extra characters who I thought perhaps muddied the waters slightly and complicated an already intricate plot. I think my usual Young Adult reading material means I get much more involved in a first person or limited third person narrative and is purely a personal preference. I enjoyed hearing from the children the most and have to admit that my lack of empathy with the parents did perhaps distance me from them. 

This isn’t a classic light summer read and I can’t promise that you won’t become alarmed. I know there were a few incidences where I was more panicked than the characters. 

Definitely worth your time and I can see this being filmed or made into a tense radio play. 

Thanks to Josie at Penguin for the review copy. Opinions as ever are all mine. 

Do check out what other bloggers thought at the other stops on the tour. 

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