Norman, Speak!

At the animal shelter, a young boy and his family choose a pet, Norman, the little stray dog who has been there the longest. Norman is brown and white, with a stump of a tail. He’s so glad to have a home that he does a “hula dance of happiness” whenever he sees his new owners. But the family soon discovers that Norman won’t respond to commands. He doesn’t even seem to know his own name. They conclude that lovable Norman just isn’t very smart until a chance encounter in the park makes them think otherwise.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume VII, Issue 2

Grandfather Counts

When Helen’s grandfather, Gong Gong, comes from China to live with her family, he’s shocked to find that none of his grandchildren speak Chinese. How will he communicate with them? At first he keeps to himself. Then one day he joins Helen to watch the trains. He starts counting the train cars in Chinese, and she repeats the words. Then Helen says the numbers in English. They continue to teach each other, and Helen even learns her Chinese name, which means “flower.” In this luminously illustrated intergenerational story, the devotion between a young girl and her grandfather helps them overcome barriers of age and language.