Norman Didn't Do It! (Yes, He Did) (Mother Bruce)

by Ryan Higgins (Author) Ryan Higgins (Illustrator)

Norman Didn't Do It! (Yes, He Did) (Mother Bruce)
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade
Series: Mother Bruce
Ryan T. Higgins, the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Mother Bruce series, delivers a contemporary tale of friendship. Norman is a porcupine. Mildred is a tree. Norman and Mildred are best friends. Just the two of them. And only the two of them. But when a surprise pops up, life will never be the same again. Ryan T. Higgins' signature wit, whimsy, and humor brilliantly explore the depths and complexities of friendship.

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A clever, funny prod to do the right thing when changes take root. (Picture book. 3-6)

Copyright 2021 Kirkus Reviews, LLC Used with Permission

Publisher's Weekly

This astute and endearing story of displacement anxiety starts with an unusual dyad: Norman, a wide-eyed porcupine, and Mildred, a tree. As the story alternates between short narration and speech balloons filled with Norman’s heart-on-his-sleeve monologues, it becomes clear that while Mildred neither talks nor moves, Norman feels that he is in a reciprocal, supportive relationship (“Yay! You win!” says Norman after somehow engaging Mildred in chess). But when a seedling springs up nearby, Norman becomes obsessed with the idea that he’s no longer Mildred’s favorite. “Under the cover of night,” he goes to a very dark (and funny) place—transplanting the little tree to a remote island before, soon enough, regretting it. (“What if digging up your friend’s friend in the middle of the night and taking that friend very, very far away was NOT the right thing to do?”) Digital cartoon vignettes show a keen sense of comic pacing—Higgins (We Will Rock Our Classmates) knows exactly when to go in for a close-up and focus on Norman’s comic sturm und drang. The porcupine is a protagonist that readers should find deeply relatable: reveling in unconditional love, prone to impulsiveness and rumination, and absolutely capable of self-redemption. Ages 3–5. Agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary. (Sept.)

Copyright 2021 Publisher's Weekly, LLC Used with Permission
Ryan Higgins
Ryan T. Higgins ( is the author and illustrator of the New York Times best-selling Mother Bruce, which received the E. B. White Read-Aloud Award and the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Honor; Hotel Bruce; BE QUIET!; and Bruce's Big Move. He lives in Maine with his wife and kids and lots of pets.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
September 20, 2021
Mother Bruce
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV002000 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | General
Library of Congress categories
Texas 2x2 Reading List
Selection 2022

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