I ordered this book solely based on what I read from reviews posted about it. I spent more than I typically do for a kids' storybook. I do not regret it. I think it is worth full price, I think it is worth more than that. I read this book and it touched my heart. The story is not complicated or complex. It is not a plot filled with many characters and twists and turns in events. It is straightforward and transparent. You find out who each of the two main characters are- who they really are deep inside- and you will inevitably relate in some way to at least one of them, most likely to both. Anyone who has struggled with a sense of inadequacy, lack of self worth, indecisiveness, shyness, depression, anxiety, fear, worry, doubt, frustration, disappointment, shame, etc. can relate to Sidney. Anyone who has ever felt that they are doing okay, or doing good, or that life is going well, having a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, confidence, self assurance, contentment, pride, etc. will be able to relate to Norman.
This book will help those who relate more to Sidney to take heart and feel less scrutinized by the "Normans" in life, to remind them that their value and identity is not based on their performance or lack thereof. It will also compel those more like Norman to look, not with indifference or even disdain, but with compassion and love toward those who do not appear on the outward to be as "together".
This is a timely and also timeless call to action. We all need to allow our minds to be renewed by the inner workings of the Holy Spirit. None of us can clearly see ourselves, or others, as God does. We need to remember that our perception of reality is tainted by sin and the only way to obtain a True view is to seek God, for He is Truth. He will shed Light on all matters, including the state of our hearts and thoughts.
Absolutely read the note after the story at the end of the book. It is profound. After reading this book to my 5 year old, he asked several questions throughout the day. Good questions, honest questions, heart questions. He wanted to know "why" and "why not" about God's love and how we are to respond to it, as well as how individuals interact with each other. This book is valuable to me as a teaching tool because it is not all symbolic or metaphoric. It's not a parable that I have to try and retell in a fashion that allows my children to see what the "moral of the story" was. They hear the story and in plain words (a few "big" words to my five year old, but he was so enthralled in the story he actually didn't stop me once to ask what they meant- typically he has to find out before allowing me to continue...), the author clearly states what he hopes kids will take away from the book. I love it. I would give it 10 stars if the rating systems would let me. I plan to purchase additional copies (and I am cheap, as you may have figured) to give away as gifts.