Did you know that International Friendship Day is on July 30th, along with Friendship Day following closely on August 1st.
Now that the pandemic is not as bad as it once was, it’s been wonderful to get to FINALLY visit with family and friends again.
After over a year of attending class online, and unable to go on play dates or even see friends face-to-face, it’s even more important than ever that children be able to be with their friends again, even if that still means wearing a mask and staying six feet apart.
A great way kids can get together with their friends would be to meet up at the park, ride bikes or play ball.
As the pandemic wore on, author Cheryl Cage spent that time writing wonderful children’s books, all of which teach children important lessons about friendship, being yourself and accepting that we all are unique.
The book series is called Norman the Interested Cat. There are currently four books in the series, with a fifth book coming out this fall.
I was sent all four books to review.
Be curious about the world with friends
See where Norman’s adventures started in Norman the (Interested in Everything) Cat! In Norman’s very first book, he visits friends and introduces you to some of his favorite hobbies with his charming spirit of curiosity. Norman wants to make sure you know that it’s fun to be yourself, and that the best friendships are built on kindness, understanding and authenticity.
Care about the health of others
In Norman’s second book, he helps his friend Jake understand why they have to take extra precautions when planning a play date. The sweet characters and beautiful watercolor illustrations make learning concepts like social distancing easy for little ones to understand…and FUN!
Self-expression can be different for everyone
When Norman and his friends are invited to Flossie’s 2nd birthday party, a flurry of excitement ensues as they pick out their outfits! While the delightful cast of characters prepares to celebrate their friend Flossie, they find themselves celebrating individuality and building self-confidence along the way.
Asking for help from friends is a smart thing to do!
Norman helps his good friend Audie work through her hurt feelings when she is picked last for a ball game. Little ones will learn that expressing their emotions is a great way to handle any problems life throws at them!
I work with children. I love to read them delightful stories. In fact, I have more children’s books in our family’s library than I have grown-up books. I have all my favorite books from when I was a child (back in the Stone Age – ha ha), as well as my children’s favorite books. I also have kept many books I was sent to review (the rest I donate to our program’s library). These books from Cheryl Cage are keepers! Not only do I enjoy the stories, but the illustrations (by Dennis Caldwell) and absolutely ADORABLE. Just looking at the illustrations makes me smile.
Each story is quick and easy to read, making them wonderful bedtime stories, as well as books to enjoy all day long.
The stories rhyme, which always seem to appeal to children. Even as an adult who often reads to children, I personally enjoy reading books that rhyme.
Throughout each book, the reader not only gets to learn more about Norma, but also all of Norman’s friends. Each of his friends are unique in their own way, but they all get along beautifully, as friends do.
These books are great “conversation starters” too. In fact, Cheryl has wonderful conversation starters, based on the books, on her website. For example, in Norman the Interested Cat: Audi Finds Her Smile, after reading the book, you can ask your child/grandchild the following questions (as an example, you can always make up your own).
Why is Audie sad?
- What did Norman do when he first realized Audie was sad?
- What were the steps that Norman suggested Audie take in order to sooth her hurt feelings?
- Have your feelings ever been hurt? What happened?
These are just a few examples.
One of the things I used to love to do with my kindergarten classroom (I was the teacher’s assistant), was read teh children a story, discuss it, and do a project based on the book. It could be as simple as as them to draw a scene from the story, draw the characters, or the projects could be a little more involved. These books would be perfect for doing a project or craft with. That is another reason why I am keeping them in my library, just in case I have the opportunity again to read to children. These books would at the very top of my list.
If you are interested in learning more about Cheryl Cage, or the books, you can visit the author’s official website, NormantheInterestedCat.com. Don’t forget to check out the social media links (Facebook, Instagram and YouTube) at the bottom of the website.
Be sure to check out the music for Norman the Interested Cat too. It’s so sweet!
If you purchase all four books (bundle), you also get a free Norman the Interested Cat coloring book (it’s so cute!).
*I received product samples free to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.