Kid Normal – Greg James & Chris Smith illustrated by Erica Salcedo

Just when you thought wasps couldn’t get even more of a bad reputation, along comes ‘Kid Normal’ to secure their place in the Hall of Fame for Truly Awful Things! Murphy Cooper the hero – not superhero- of the story would certainly agree as he unwittingly gets himself caught up in a battle with Nektar the evil half-man, half-wasp villain of the piece. So how does an ordinary boy possessing no superpowers find himself battling a despicable genetic experiment gone wrong? Well it all kind of began when Murphy’s Mum accidentally enrolled him in a school for superheroes, a place where he was bound to stand out not because he was new, or he had funny hair but because he was the only ‘normal’ kid there. And in a place like this school being ‘normal’ is not going to get you anywhere fast. But Murphy soon finds out that you don’t have to have superpowers in order to save the day!

‘Kid Normal’ is incredibly funny, witty and stuffed full of heart which is no surprise as it’s written by Greg James and Chris Smith who are an undeniably a hilarious duo. It is the irresistible combination of laugh out loud and subtle humour which really packs a punch and ticks all the boxes for me. Although the obvious humour is outstanding, it is the subtle witty observations captured by narrator’s voice which win me over every time.  It is an absolute joy to read, Greg and Chris have created a story which is brilliantly humorous but full of heart and emotion. At the heart of this story the reader feels that no matter if you are different from everyone else, your differences are important and they are what makes you unique. Together they have assembled this genuinely likeable and unlikeable cast of characters, who are essential to the brilliance of this book. My favourite character is inevitably the school librarian whose ‘capability’ is the ability to silence a room with her foghorn voice which is a quality on some days I would love to have.

I couldn’t finish this review without giving a huge shout out to Erica Salcedo who has created a wonderful array of illustrations. Bursting with energy, they capture perfectly the chaos and humour of the story enhancing this fantastic book.  Unfortunately I have only seen a proof copy so I’m really excited to see the completed version with the final illustrations inside. I predict that the ‘Kid Normal’ series will be a triumph and a real hit at school, I can’t wait to find out what Murphy and his friends get up to next.

Thank you to Emma at Bloomsbury for sending me a copy of this brilliant book. ‘Kid Normal’ is released on the 13th July and is available to pre-order online or from any good bookshop.

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