A Valentine for Norman Noggs

By Valiska Gregory

Illustrated by Marsha Winborn

The Story

Norman Noggs is in love with Wilhemina, the new girl in class.  She has eyelashes that flutter "like butterflies" and cheeks as "pink as peppermint drops."

But the course of true love never did run smooth, and the hamster hero faces many trials in his quest to win the fair Wilhemina, including making a homemade Valentine which is harder than he thought it might be.


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He also runs into Richard and Norman, two tough-guy hamsters who are determined to keep Norman from delivering his valentine to the object of his affection. It looks like Norman’s in deep trouble . . . at least until a surprising person comes to his rescue.

The Story Behind the Story

When they were little, my daughters had many pets, among them two hamsters, one named Neuman Noggs (after a gentle character in Dickens novel), and the other suitably named Mr. Chips.  I borrowed the real hamsters’ personalities for the character Norman Noggs and for  the bullies in the story named Richard and Arthur.