Nora the Mind Reader
Nora the Mind Reader
Enchanted Lion Books, Hardcover, 9781592701209, 32pp.
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
A clever, sensitive story that explores the difference between what people say and think in a smart and imaginative way.
Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal:
Orit Gidali's "Nora the Mind Reader" (Enchanted Lion, 32 pages, $15.95), translated from the Hebrew by Annette Appel, also deals sweetly with unintended consequences. In this case the catalyst is words. When a boy at Nora's school tells her that she has "flamingo legs," she is hurt and furious. Luckily, Nora has an understanding mother who gives her a magic wand "for days that don't seem to be filled with any magic at all."
In Aya Gordon-Noy's visually spacious mixed-media-collage illustrations, the wand is actually a pink plastic bubble wand, the sort you dip into a soapy mixture and blow through. When Nora holds it up to her eye, she sees silvery thought-bubbles revealing that "people don't always say what they think, or say what they think they are saying."
Now Nora can perceive that a boy who says, "I don't feel like playing" is really thinking, "I don't feel like losing" and that a girl who snaps, "You ask too many questions" is in fact thinking, insecurely, "You're so smart." Armed with these insights, Nora speaks with straightforward kindness to the flamingo boy, who, it turns out, has a crush on her. There is a particularly charming bit near the end of this emotionally intelligent tale for 4- to 8-year-olds: Nora's father comes home and says, "Hi! Give me a kiss. Let's have lunch." And we see him secretly thinking, "Hi! Give me a kiss. Let's have lunch."
"Armed with this ability to hear between the lines and infer meaningful interpretations, Nora gains confidence and realizes that the key to social interactions is understanding that what people say aloud is not always what they really think. Essential to completing the concept in this Israeli import is the striking collage art created with cream-hued paints over a Hebrew newspaper and curvy-lined crayon drawings filled in with rosy pinks and indigo for Nora and Harry respectively. A thought-inspiring approach." -- Kirkus Reviews