Normal Nina and the Magic Box Reviewed By Conny Withay of
Conny Withay

Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader and volunteers with the elderly playing her designed The Write Word Game. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.

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By Conny Withay
Published on November 8, 2016

Author: Ian Sadler
Illustrator: Adrienne Brown
Publisher: Gelos Publications
ISBN: 978-0-9964157-0-5

Author: Ian Sadler
Illustrator: Adrienne Brown
Publisher: Gelos Publications
ISBN: 978-0-9964157-0-5

Adventures are great but,
That’s enough for one day,
I’m Normal Nina and,

I’m happy that way!”

Ian Sadler states in his rhyming children’s book, Normal Nina and the Magic Box.

This numbered thirty-page hardbound targets children ages four to eight years old who like stories about children and self-esteem. With no scary scenes, it is a story about a little girl who wishes she was different and not normal. Having expressive, colorful illustrations on every page, the easy-to-read font is in four lines per page. The ending includes eleven group and individual activities regarding the story.

In this short tale told in rhyme, a little girl named Nina thinks she is normal as she feels she is dull, bland, and plain. One Monday, she finds a big red box outside with a boy genie who grants her three wishes. Wanting to be noticed by her playmates, she erroneously asks for the wrong things, and the results are not what she expected. Only when she realizes who is the genie, does Nina understand she is happy with who she is.

This is a charming book that promotes contentment is better than wishing you were different. I like how the illustrations are fanciful and fun yet show emotion and some detail. The story verifies that being normal can be freeing and accepted when you know who you are. The twisting of words was clever.

Those who do not like rhyming tales of a child learning to be happy with who she is may not enjoy this book. Beginner readers may have trouble reading some of the complicated two- and three-syllable words. I did not understand the genie’s reasoning at the end and how it correlated to Nina’s conclusion.

Retired from a career in professional sales, Sadler enjoys writing children’s books that concentrate on comic, rhyming stories that offer gentle message for daily living. Artist Brown has been a graphic designer and illustrator for twenty-five years.

With this book targeting beginner readers, it would be helpful to make sure it is written correctly so children do not assume its punctuation errors are acceptable (commas should not be at the end of almost all lines and were often missing in other places).

If you are looking for a children’s book that focuses on being happy with who you are, this may be enjoyed by young ones even though it is not perfectly written.

Thanks to Bookpleasures and Gelos Publications for this book that I freely evaluated.