Children’s Book Review: Normal Nina and the Magic Box
By Greta Jenkins
This children’s book, Normal Nina and the Magic Box, by Ian Sadler and illustrated by Adrienne Brown, helps kids learn they are special just by being themselves. Nina starts out in the book thinking normal is boring. She wants to be different. She wants to be noticed by her friends and do something amazing.
Then through a series of wishes granted to her by Jack the Amazing Genie. Nina discovers that wishes might not work out quite the way she hoped. In fact, they made her life more difficult rather than better. She realizes, ” What I am is what counts. And not what I lack”.
The book is delightfully illustrated, the writing is fast paced and it keeps kids engaged. A four year old reader when asked what she would wish for, said, “the beautiful genie’s house in the book”. Our eight year old reader said, “normal is whatever you are”.
Normal Nina and the Magic Box comes with Normal Nina Group and Individual Activities for home or classroom to help you engage children in discussions. What wish would they make to change their lives? What would they wish for others? Ways to acknowledge what is amazing about them already. Discuss what normal” is. If offers suggestions about how to apply these to real life experiences, like what to do to help make a new classmate feel welcomed. More about the book and activities at NormalNina.com .
Ms. Jensen is a leading advocate for families and children and was the founder and president of ACES, The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support.
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