Written by: Caroline Adderson
Illustrated by: Qin Leng
Published by: Groundwood Books
Published on: May 13 2014
When you welcome someone into your life, and communication doesn't go as planned, what do you do? Do you just stop there? Do you investigate the differences? Do you do what you can to communicate with your new friend?
In Norman, Speak! a family welcomes a new furry member but they have trouble communicating with their canine friend. Instead of accepting a lower level of communication, they do what they can to work on the dog's level, which means a lot of effort in this case.
There's so much to love about Norman, Speak! The story is delightful, a really good family message about not giving up on someone you love, and working together as a family with a goal. Then there's Qin Leng's adorable illustrations. Like the people, the dog is expressive and you feel like you really get to know each person.
My two big weaknesses are rosy-cheeked people in artwork and bilingual books. This one is both, with a great story to boot, so it's no wonder it's one of my favourites of 2014.