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Sidney & Norman
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Sidney & Norman

4.2 4
by Phil Vischer, Justin Gerard (Illustrator)

A multi-layered tale of two very different pigs that you will find yourself snickering at . . . yet you will find very thought-provoking. Sidney & Norman uses the simple context of two pigs living next door to each other to communicate a profound truth about how we judge each other and often judge ourselves. On the surface, Sidney & Norman appears


A multi-layered tale of two very different pigs that you will find yourself snickering at . . . yet you will find very thought-provoking. Sidney & Norman uses the simple context of two pigs living next door to each other to communicate a profound truth about how we judge each other and often judge ourselves. On the surface, Sidney & Norman appears to be a picture book that will entertain kids. But this story has deeply moved adult audiences in informal readings, leading to deep-thinking discussions.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Vischer, co-creator of the popular Veggie Tales characters, here offers a poignant fable about how pride can instigate one's fall. Though pigs Sidney and Norman live right next door to each other, they've never met. They also couldn't be more different. Norman is a churchgoing neatnik and a stickler for rules, proud of his accomplishments and charitable giving. Sidney is a messy and rumpled fellow who is forever running late and getting in trouble with his boss. When both pigs get a printed invitation from God himself for an appointed visit, each believes he knows how the meeting will go. Of course, they couldn't be more wrong. But the surprising encounter does clarify for each pig his strengths and shortcomings, and assures both porkers of God's unconditional love for them. Gerard crafts his digital renderings of the anthropomorphic pigs, gamely navigating the human rat race, in a golden/sepia tone, giving them an intriguing, timeless feel. Author's notes include personal insights and suggestions on how to use this title with children. Ages 5-10. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.60(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
5 - 10 Years

Read an Excerpt

Sidney & Norman

a tale of two pigs

By Phil Vischer, Justin Gerard

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2006 Phil Vischer
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4003-0834-7


On a quiet street, in a quiet town, lived two pigs.

They didn't oink or eat slop—no, this isn't that kind of story. They wore suit coats and went to work.

And even though they lived right next door to each other, they didn't know each other's names.

The pig on the right was Norman. He was a very good pig. Rules and hard work had always come easily to him, and it showed. His house was neat and organized. He always looked his very best. He gave money to the "needy," and never missed church on Sunday.

Norman's teachers liked him when he was young, and his boss at work liked him now that he was all grown-up. He was pretty sure God liked him, too. After all, he was a very good pig.

Norman figured that everyone could be as good as he was, if they'd just try a little harder.

He wondered why they didn't.

The pig on the left was Sidney. Things didn't come quite as easily for Sidney. Rules and systems and schedules seemed, well, a bit slippery. One minute he thought he had them, and the next minute—whoops! Where'd they go?

He was forever running ten minutes late, and could never manage, no matter how hard he tried, to get his tie perfectly straight. Not like his neighbor ... what was his name?

Sidney got in trouble in school, which frustrated his teachers. He got in trouble at work, which frustrated his boss.

He knew God was watching, and figured he was pretty frustrated, too. But most of all, Sidney frustrated Sidney. Why was everything so hard? Why couldn't he be more like ... oh, what was his name?

Sidney felt broken. And some days that made it hard to get up in the morning. Some days, in fact, Sidney couldn't get up at all.

Since Sidney was usually late and Norman was usually early, they very seldom saw each other. Unless, that is, they happened to fetch their mail at the same time. Which is exactly what happened one bright morning in October.

Now, normally if Sidney saw Norman, he would look down and shuffle back inside. He was sure Norman was staring at his tie, or his hair, or the papers half-stuck into his briefcase. He was sure Norman was looking down on him for being messy. Which, for the most part, was absolutely correct.

But this day Norman didn't look at Sidney's tie and Sidney didn't look away because they were both staring at the small, pale blue envelopes they had received in the mail. One was addressed to Norman, and the other to Sidney. Hmm. Had someone invited them both to the same party?


Excerpted from Sidney & Norman by Phil Vischer, Justin Gerard. Copyright © 2006 Phil Vischer. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

When computer-animator Phil Vischer sat down to create delightfully weird characters to teach Christian values to kids, Bob the tomato and a Larry the cucumber were born. VeggieTales revolutionized Christian filmmaking, sold more than 40 million videos and placed faith-filled stories in one of three American households with young children. Phil continues to pursue new ways to integrate faith and storytelling. Phil lives with his wife Lisa, their three kids, and one dog in Illinois.

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Sidney & Norman 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book works for a wide audience and has staying power. It's a great read aloud. My 6 yr. old understands it at one level and my 12 yr. old at a different one. It's grat for adults too. I am going to incorporated it in a Sunday School teacher training in the fall. The concept of God's love being unconditional is a hard one to wrap your brain around but this book gives a great illustration of how God cares for us. It reminds us not to judge others and that we can be our own worst enemy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm the mother of two children, one of whom has Norman tendencies and the other of whom is closer to Sidney in many areas. I loved this book and so did my kids! It is, however, important that you discuss the book with your children before, during, and after reading it. Then they can make ties to their lives and their walk with God. I found this book much more accessible than the tale of the Pharisee and the Publican, a parable Jesus tells that is not remembered often enough. Hats off to Vischer! I'm grateful for this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book to my little boy OFTEN, it will hopefully not only teach him not to be a judgemental 'pig'. But it helps keep me humble as well. The author notes at the end of the book add cherries to the top. It is GREAT!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but my little girl, who is 7, chose this book herself, and we read it for the first time today. It has a good moral to it and is a wonderful teaching tool...for adults (or an appropriate age level who are already beyond picture books)! I would say it'd probably be great for a 9 - 10 year old to really understand it. My little girl sat through it, but did she really understand what the message was? And isn't that the point, when we spend $$ on a 'Christian' book, so we can teach our kids messages based on biblical principles? But if they don't understand it, I would much rather save my hard-earned money and go to the free library! Another thing I noticed, was that Sidney was a very depressed pig. So depressed was Sidney, that he had trouble getting out of bed in the mornings. Some days he couldn't get up at all!!! And by the end of the book, Sidney was STILL struggling to get out of bed in the mornings, but he learned that he just had to remember that God loved him, then he could do it. I think Phil wrote this book out of his own personal depression and it might be very helpful to struggling adolescents in major depressions. Maybe they should target Christian Psychologist offices -- their niche market -- it would actually be a FANTASTIC resource for that. I was also disappointed to read in Phil's notes in the back that 'God loves you just the same. So much so, in fact, that he died for you, and would do it again in a heartbeat.' Correct me if I'm wrong, but the last time I read my bible, I don't believe it says anywhere in it that God died for my sins. I would like to think the editors at Tommy Nelson Publishers would have caught that misuse of Scripture and made Phil sound a little more accurate. Just a suggestion. Little to do with the story, of course, that it was God's Son who died, not God...but when you publish a book and promote it BIG like this one was, the person buying the book just expects a little more than what she got! The illustrations were okay, but it was EXTREMELY difficult to tell when you are reading the book which pig is which. Is that Norman or Sidney? We could tell no major difference in the pigs based on the illustrations. One was supposed to be very neat, and the other sloppy and disheveled (the depressed one). They sure looked drawn the same to us. A review by a very Disappointed Mom.