Norman Does Nothing

Norman Does Nothing | chapter book | Andrew Joyner-Illustrator | Penguin Australia | May 2011


No one does Nothing quite as well as Norman the garden gnome. But one day his peaceful world is turned upside-down . . .

Norman is a dignified garden gnome who lives in the garden of elderly Mr Goodfellow and takes great pride in doing what gnomes are supposed to do: Nothing. He is also a keen observer of everything that happens around him, and sometimes he applies to his Inner Gnome for wisdom and strength. When Mr Goodfellow inexplicably goes away and his home is taken over by a stylish woman and a particularly annoying small girl apparently called Darling, Norman has to do a great deal of calling on his Inner Gnome.

Darling seems to think he’s some kind of toy, and she dresses him up and takes him for rides on her bicycle. Norman is at first horrified, but in time he starts to discover that being with Darling is fun. She opens his horizons and reveals the world to him. She makes him feel as he’s never felt before. When he and Darling have a serious accident on her bike, Norman realises what it is to care deeply about another person.



CBCA Book of the Year Notable Book 2012