Normal Nina and the Magic Box (The Laugh & Learn Series)
By: Ian Sadler
Illustrated by: Adrienne Brown
Publisher: Gelos Publications
Publication Date: January 2016
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: December 3, 2016
Young Nina was a happy girl except for one thing...she was normal - normal in height, normal in shoe size, normal, normal, normal. Was there anything more boring? Nina was about to find out just how nice normal can be.
Normal Nina and the Magic Box introduces Nina who is simply bored to tears with being normal.
But normal to Nina,
Was just dull, bland and plain.
"All of my friends," she said,
"Must think I'm so lame!"
On one normal Monday, Nina wandered into the garden where she discovered a giant red box. Peeking inside, Nina found an amazing array of bright lights and dials, surrounded by squishy soft walls. As Nina explored, a boy dressed in blue, complete with mask, popped out and introduced himself as "...'Jack the Amazing,'A Genie, Grade Two." Like all good genies, Jack the Amazing gave Nina three wishes. Nina is quick to respond,
"Make playmates notice me,
And guess what, most of all,
Like the biggest giraffe,
I want to be tall."
When Nina wakes up the next morning, she discovers that her wish didn't quite go the way she wanted...With two more tries, Nina is determined to get it right and not be normal. Will she succeed?
Normal Nina and the Magic Box offers children an important lesson in accepting themselves as they are. With clever rhymes and a silly premise (Nina's brother is the genie,) children will giggle every time Nina gets her wish and things go terribly wrong. The illustrations are fun and bright and add the right amount of playfulness to the story. At the end of the book are two pages of suggested "group and individual activities."
Quill says: A fun story that teaches children to be happy with what they are instead of whishing to be someone else.