NORMAN AND BRENDA by Colin Thompson

NORMAN AND BRENDA

by & illustrated by
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Norman and Brenda toddle separately toward middle age desperately lonely, believing they will never find a companion. When their pet goldfish and salamander abandon them, they give up all hope until a chance collision brings them together. These pitiable, ragged characters trudge across double-page panels in this pint-sized picture book, with Norman’s story on top and Brenda’s below. Lissiat’s illustrations, sharp sketches amid washes of purples, blues, browns and grays, perfectly capture the bruised souls of two quiet, peripheral people. Simply told, their stories mirror one another, making readers aware of many ironic little brushes with potential happiness. The stacked graphic layout reinforces the unhappy characters’ achingly close proximity to their future soul mate. Lyrical repetitions of language also echo between Norman’s and Brenda’s worlds, fairy tale–like. Though it’s presented solidly from adult emotional perspectives, some teens will relish this realized romance between two unlikely ugly ducklings. This deeply affecting story makes clear just how elusive happiness can be, and how wonderful it is when you finally find it. (Picture book. YA, adult)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-933605-86-9
Page count: 36pp
Publisher: Kane/Miller
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2009




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