A Garden Home for Normy the Gnome

Children - Fable
38 Pages
Reviewed on 01/17/2022
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Author Biography

Award-winning children's author, Cindy L. Shirley grew up in a small town in Cherokee County Georgia. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother of two adorable granddaughters. She loves working with children and has tons of hilarious stories to share with her readers. In addition to being a former ASP teacher in the North Georgia school system, Mrs. Shirley is the founder of Let's Pretend Parties and Let's Pretend Publishing. She continues to work with children of all ages as a party planner, entertainer, and hostess. These adventures along with her personal experiences are the basis for her heartwarming children's books: "Diesel the Body Guard: No Bullies Allowed", "Go-Cart Gertie", "Doodle and the Magic Christmas Float", "A Song for Birdie: A Child's Journey with Autism", "Kitty Ballou's Sanctuary Zoo", the series of "The Fabulous Life of Minnie the Sassy Chick", "Stinky Feet Pete and the Mighty Hitters", and "Charlie and the Catmas Tree". Each beautifully illustrated book contains a valuable lesson that is ideal for elementary school-aged children. Her creative and fun-filled storylines are sure to make children everywhere laugh and smile.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Did you know gnomes are magical? In fact, it is believed that “gnomes bring a touch of magic to any garden they live in.” So why would someone throw away a gnome garden ornament? Margaret lived alone and spent most of her time tending her beautiful garden, with her trusty dog, Daisy. She was surprised to find a gnome discarded at a local garden center. Since she didn’t have any ornaments in her garden, and she was quite taken with the little gnome, she carried it to her car, planning to clean it up and repaint it so it looked as good as new. The events that transpired next were nothing short of pure magic: “She was in awe. The garden was beyond beautiful. It was magical.” The gnome, who she discovered by a name written on its shoe was Normy, had found his forever home with Margaret and Daisy in the beautiful garden they tended.

Cindy Shirley’s picture book story, A Garden Home for Normy the Gnome, is as magical as the gnome itself. This whimsical story was inspired by her beloved grandmother who loved to garden and often won awards and local recognition for both her garden and what she grew in it. Written in simple language so young readers can follow along, this tender, compassionate story is all about believing in and caring for the magic that is all around us, thanks to Mother Nature. The plot is a journey of discovery, unexpected friendships, and adorable characters. The illustrations are bright, colorful, and spectacular, certainly adding to the magical element of the story. Beautifully told with love and compassion. I always enjoy a good gardening story, especially if the story includes a dog.

Delene Vrey

A Garden Home for Normy the Gnome by Cindy L. Shirley tells the story of Miss Margaret Taylor and her lovely garden full of bright flowers, green shrubs, and beautiful roses. Miss Margaret loves working in her garden, and her trusty dog Daisy is always by her side. When they go to the store, they come across an old garden gnome that has been thrown in the trash. Miss Margaret and Daisy decide to take him home with them, and Daisy seems quite attached to the gnome. Soon strange things happen around the home that Miss Margaret can’t explain. Nevertheless, she gives the gnome a fresh coat of paint and a smile and then puts him in her garden after naming him Normy. That night Daisy stays outside with Normy, and when she checks on the two, Miss Margaret is treated to a magical sight.

A Garden Home for Normy the Gnome by Cindy L. Shirley is a story that teaches about love and caring for one’s environment, taking care of our gardens and our pets. It also addresses the theme of recycling – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. By taking the old gnome home with her and giving him a fresh coat of paint and a friend in Daisy, she has given new meaning to what someone saw as trash. The book is brightly and beautifully illustrated and will give younger readers immense pleasure to look at. The illustrations also complement the story and add to the message that is conveyed.