What inspires: True Life Adventure! Nothing so fun as watching a classroom of toddlers romp! For them,  life filled with wonder, so exciting & fresh! Every moment is a new adventure--

But, life in a pre-school classroom holds danger, too. . . Especially if you're the new fish in the classroom . . .

A few weeks back, my friend Sherri shared how one day her grandson George's preschool teacher asked the class what their empty fishtank needed. George hollered out "A Fish!"

I knew right then what they really needed-first and fast: Not Norman, A Goldfish Story!

Today I recieved a note from Sherri. She had good news and bad news: The good news was George likes my book (yes!)

The bad news:

"They had to replace their fish at school because a little girl threw a toy in the tank and conked the fish on the head. The next day he was belly up."







Reader's Theater Staring...Norman the Goldfish

Not Norman, A Goldfish Story is now Reader's Theater! After garnering a 5-glug review at its debut at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier, VT the Reader's Theater version of Not Norman, A Goldfish Story is ready to take on the road. Next stop: Your Place!

Download the Not Norman Reader's Theater Script.

(If this link fails, click on the "Activities" Tab and scroll down to Not Norman's Activity Box

Ready all you Normans? (Come on you know you always wanted to play a goldfish.) Puff up your fish cheeks, puff out your fish lips and give us a "Glug!"


Two Fish in the Same Pond…Finally!

….Fish lovers that is. Specifically Norman the Fish lovers me and Noah Z. Jones the Amazing, who illustrated Not Norman, A Goldfish Story. We met up for the 1st time at St. George’s Pre-school in La Canada, California on Wednesday. How? In some wonderful cosmic collision Rebecca Grose, of SoCal Public Relations,

just happened to reach out to Flintridge Books in La Canada when she was scheduling events to celebrate my new picture book, Your Mommy Was Just Like You, and, fellow Vermont College grad Catherine Linka

just happens to be the Children’s Book Buyer for Flintridge Books (which is now is a brand spankin’ new, bigger and better location right on the corner of Foothill and Angeles Crest)

, and Noah’s son Eli just happens to be attend pre-school at St. Georges—what are the chances of that!

Noah, who is quite famous and successful nowadays as creator of the Disney animated series, Fish Hooks took time that morning to pop over to St. George’s for a visit. What a surprise! What a treat! Noah is just as silly and fun and clever in real live as I imagined him to be when he brought to life our funny flippin’ and floppin’ fish character Norman!

Noah and I had never met. Never even talked on the phone before. Never even e-mailed until after Not Norman was released in 2005. (Which is pretty normal in the picture book creating process.) Still, it is kind of weird if you think about it….wouldn’t it make sense for the illustrator and author to chat? Or meet? But that’s not how it’s usually done. The idea is that the author might muck up the illustrator’s creative process by imposing his or her vision over the artist’s. I must admit, judging by the wonderful, surprising art in picture books—especially mine!—the system works!

Our editor, Sarah,  kept telling me how much fun Noah was and how nice Noah was and and and…and finally I got to see for myself! Noah brought his easel, giant paper and markers along when he came to surprise me. And so together we entertained the preschoolers with the story of how Not Norman came to life. For a few hours on Wednesday it was the Noah and Kelly Show: while I talked and read, Noah drew silly, funny sketches. The kid’s heads were bobbing back and forth faster than fans at Wimbledon!

Noah and I had a blast! We’re hoping this is the beginning of more fishy fun! (Hint, hint, Sarah...)

Not Norman Goes E with Nook

Not Norman, A Goldfish Story is moving into the techno world. Our favorite goldfish story has been chosen as one of the first books to be published through Barnes & Noble's NOOK Kids color e-reader. According to the folks at Candlewick Press, “The electronic version will be very true to the physical edition, maintaining the look of the spreads and the feel of the page turns. There won't be any audio, animation, or other enhancements; the only change is that readers will be able to click on the text in order to zoom in and make it easier to read.”

If you’d like to experience Nook books for kids click onto Barnes and Nobles website: Nook Color for Kids. As part of the promotion, for a time NOOK Kids B&N is allowing customers to sample Not Norman, A Goldfish Story "the E-Book" on their computers.

Learning fun with Norman the Goldfish from Toni Buzzeo!

Not Norman, A Goldfish Story is highlighted in author, Library Media Specialist, Toni Buzzeo’s ABC Read to Me!: Teaching Letter of the Week in the Library & Classroom. Along with a synopsis of the story, Toni has created groovy curriculum activities for Pre-K and Kindergarten.