Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Norbert: What Can Little Me Do?

Norbert: What Can Little Me Do?

Julie Freyermuth
Illustrator:  Virginia K. Freyermuth 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 7
Polly Parker Press, 2013   ISBN: 978-0984868209

Norbert is a very small, fluffy, white dog and he and his person have moved to the big city. Norbert and Momma now live in an apartment way above the city streets, and on his first night Norbert lies in his little bed and wonders what he, being such a little dog, can do in the big city.

   The next day Norbert and Momma go for a walk and not surprisingly many of the children they meet want to pet Norbert. In the park Norbert sees big dogs that can bark loudly, and he meets a big horse that can pull a carriage. Norbert wishes that he too had a big voice or that he could do what a horse can do.

   The following day Norbert and Momma go back to the park. Norbert sees birds who can fly in the sky, ducks who can swim in the pond, and a squirrel, who can climb trees. Poor little Norbert cannot fly, float, or climb a tree. He cannot even climb the stairs from the subway to the street above because his legs are too short.

   It is not much fun feeling as if you can’t do anything or contribute anything. This is how Norbert, a three-pound dog, feels. He is too small to do any of the things that he thinks he would like to be able to do. What Norbert does not realize is that he, like everyone else, has something to offer, and in his case what he is looking for is right under his own sweet little nose.

   This charming, heartwarming, and inspirational book is based on the true story of Norbert, the author’s dog. Children will immediately fall in love with the pint sized dog, whose story is presented using a journal format. Wonderful artwork, a handwritten text, and a memorable story make this a book that children and their grownups will greatly enjoy reading and looking at.