Read Norman, Speak! by Caroline Adderson QinLeng Online


Norman, Speak! tells the comical yet thought-provoking story of a boy and his family who adopt a dog that just can’t seem to learn the things other dogs do.Overwhelmed by dogs in need at their local animal shelter, a young boy chooses Norman, the stray that’s been there the longest. But, upon bringing him home, the family quickly learns that Norman won’t respond to commandNorman, Speak! tells the comical yet thought-provoking story of a boy and his family who adopt a dog that just can’t seem to learn the things other dogs do.Overwhelmed by dogs in need at their local animal shelter, a young boy chooses Norman, the stray that’s been there the longest. But, upon bringing him home, the family quickly learns that Norman won’t respond to commands. He doesn’t even know his own name.During a chance encounter with another dog owner in the park, the family is very surprised to learn the reason for Norman’s confusion; he “speaks” Chinese instead of English! And so the family enrolls in a language class, determined to understand their uniquely loveable pet.The humorous text, from award-winning author Caroline Adderson, and Qin Leng’s delightful illustrations combine to create a picture book that will be enjoyed by readers (and dogs) no matter what language they speak....

Title : Norman, Speak!
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781554983223
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 32 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Norman, Speak! Reviews

  • Pamela
    2019-11-25 21:33

    A rather oddball book. Authors must be on a "write a really long picture book" kick right now. I couldn't use this in storytime--it's very long. I think it could have been executed by excising a lot of the school scenes.The premise of the story is that a boy and his family adopt a dog (yay adoption!), but he doesn't respond to them. They assume he's just kind of dull, but they love him anyway. Then, one day, at the park, they find out that Norman only understands Chinese. Then they learn Chinese to talk to Norman.It's kind of a strange concept for a kids' book. Training a dog can happen in any language. Our younger dog responds to hand signals, so you don't even need spoken language. The scenes where the family is trying to learn Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese??? I think it's Mandarin) are very long and kind of boring. If you don't know that this is a tonal language, the fact that the little boy messes up saying "thank you, teacher" will be totally lost. And what three-year-old knows about tonal languages?Overall, a good idea, just not executed in the best way.

  • paula
    2019-11-07 23:38

    Brilliant. Brilliant. The adopted dog from the animal shelter doesn't understand "Sit" and "Come." The family concludes that he is just not very smart, but he is friendly and funny and they love him anyway.A chance encounter at the dog park reveals that Norman understands Chinese, so the family starts taking Chinese lessons. Chinese is difficult, and they conclude that they are just not very smart, although friendly and funny.With some perseverance, communication is established, and everyone is very happy. This is a beautiful way to explain that being able to understand English does not reflect a person's intelligence, personality, or willingness to make friends - sometimes a difficult concept to explain to little kids.Also the art is friendly and funny and full of homey details and colors. Special Award for Composition is conferred for the many overhead or oblique perspectives.

  • Edward Sullivan
    2019-11-12 22:57

    Dog understands Chinese but family who adopts him doesn't speak the language. Charming story, delightful illustrations.

  • Claire
    2019-11-08 16:31

    A charming read for kids 4+ with a lovely message about dog adoption and multiculturalism.It is confusing how the author keeps saying that the dog speaks Chinese - it may mislead readers who don't know about the difference between Mandarin and Cantonese.

  • babyhippoface
    2019-11-19 18:56

    The little boy and his family go to the animal shelter to pick out a dog, but they are overwhelmed with the sheer number of animals waiting for adoption. How can they ever pick the just one? The boy decides they should choose the saddest dog, so they ask which dog is been there the longest and they take him home. The dog's name is Norman, and it seems Norman doesn't know how to do anything. He doesn't respond to any commands, but his tail sure does a happy hula wag. The family decides that Norman just isn't a very smart dog until one day when they are in the park with other dogs and their owners. They watch in fascination as Norman begins responding to a man who is commanding his dog in Chinese. Norman isn't stupid, he just speaks Chinese! The family enrolls in Saturday Chinese school so they can learn to communicate with Norman better and they learn that Norman is genuinely a smart dog who has just had a language barrier. This book would be great to use in ESL classes or in regular classrooms who are receiving an ESL student. The simple story allows kids to understand that just because someone does not speak your language it doesn't mean he or she is less intelligent, they've just been trained another way.

  • Guen
    2019-12-05 23:53

    My uncle is Chinese and he speaks Mandarin. I didn't think that there was a "Chinese" language but rather several different languages spoken in China, with Mandarin being the official national language. Also, as a dog owner, I just can't make the leap that a family would learn to speak a foreign language in order to give commands to their dog. The family could just learn a few choice words in the foreign language or they could retrain the dog with new commands which is not a hard thing to do. I do appreciate the message of the book that not knowing a given language does not mean that a person or a dog is not smart.

  • Brittany
    2019-11-14 22:41

    Norman, Speaks is a fun, relatable book for children with pets. It sends the message that despite differences and challenges, it is important to love your loved ones. I enjoyed the multiculturalism in this book. The family finds out that Norman can only speak Chinese, so throughout the story, the family is trying to learn Chinese in order to help teach the dog how to behave. Along they way, they encounter challenges just like Norman. Because of the language represented throughout, I believe this book would work best with upper elementary children.

  • Tasha
    2019-11-27 16:38

    A boy and his family adopt a dog from the animal shelter. The boy has a hard time choosing a dog and finally decides to take Norman, because he’s been there the longest. Norman was a stray and doesn’t really have a tail, more of a stump, but he can wag it along with his entire backside. Once they got home, they discovered that Norman did not follow basic dog commands at all. He just tilted his head sideways and didn’t do anything. The family realized that Norman was just not smart, but at least he was funny and friendly. Then one day in the park, a man was playing with his dog and Norman started to follow the commands! But the boy couldn’t understand a word of what the man was saying, he was speaking in Chinese. Norman spoke Chinese! Now it was up to the family to figure out how to communicate with their Chinese-speaking dog.Adderson’s gently humorous text leads readers to simply believe that this is the story of a rather slow dog being adopted into a family. The twist of the language appears abruptly, changing the course of the book and the reader’s opinion of Norman in an instant. It works tremendously well thanks to the set up in the text before that. Perhaps the best part of the book is the family’s attempt to learn Chinese so they can speak to their dog. I love that the solution is changing themselves instead of changing Norman.Leng’s illustrations have the same quiet humor as the text. They feel like glimpses of real life moments, unstaged and candid. Done in simple lines and quiet colors, they support the story and help tell it.A celebration of diversity and differences in doggie form, this picture book is just as clever as Norman. Appropriate for ages 4-6.

  • Heather
    2019-11-08 20:40

    Title: Norman, SpeakAuthor: Caroline Adderson Genre: Realistic FictionPlot Summary: This is a fun and adventerous book about a boy and his family who adopt a dog. After a little while the boy realizes that the dog either isn't well trained or that there is some reason that he won't listen. He comes to find out the previous owner(s) spoke Chinese! Knowing this, he and his parents take up Chinese classes at a nearby church so they can speak to their dog properly.Literary Merit: Cultural implications are huge parts of this book. Since the boy and his family are English speaking, they assumed that the previous owners were English speaking as well. It is a great point that this book brings up, since it reminds or teaches children that not everyone is the same. It shows that culture is unique and everyone can learn something from someone else's culture.Classroom Connection: After reading this book I would go over the Chinese vocabulary from the book and I might find some more to teach them, going along with the theme of the book. This will activate different schemas and expose them to different cultures. Since this book is about a pet I would have students research about pets such as how to take care of them. After reading the book I would have them answer: how they would describe the ways we love our pets.Note: This book is part of my text set

  • Lynn
    2019-11-11 15:55

    “Bark, George” and “Martha Speaks” come to mind but this story quickly takes a different storyline and is more realistic This supportive family seems to value learning, as they want to learn Chinese, and are often shown with papers, books, and studying at desks. Interesting that the dog has a name but the boy does not. There are jumps in the storyline, that an early elementary child may not grasp, I even found myself going back to see if I missed a page, such as when they tell Chinese teacher about their dog, then on the next page, the boy can count and give commands to Norman.The digitally-colored ink drawings vary in details, sometime the background is shown, such as when they are in the park, sometimes foreground, such as the book with the Ying/Yang symbol on the boys desk. I wonder why the illustrator chose three times to draw a mirror on the wall of rooms in their house. The Chinese glossary in the back is a good addition, but most of the words translated here can be figured out from the context in which they are used in the story. Teachers could use this to help students with the skill of using context figure out meaning. It would have been helpful to have the pronunciations. This would be useful for Chinese ELL students, however, the book does not state if this is Mandarin or another dialect.

  • Kelly
    2019-11-23 18:30

    Really enjoyed this story.

  • Laura
    2019-11-09 20:36

    A family adopts a shelter dog who proves to be sweet though unresponsive to commands. While at the park, the family finds out that their dog understands Chinese. They decide to take Chinese lessons so that they can communicate with their sweet pooch. Though the lessons are difficult, the family perseveres so that they can talk to their smart, sweet dog. Minor complaints: This is a pretty long book! If I were using this as a read aloud to a group of students, I would certainly finds a way to break up the text or shorten the story through picture summaries. The dad is also pretty anti-school. It's nice to see the boy encouraging his father but the school-is-hard attitude went a little far for my taste.

  • Yapha
    2019-11-24 19:42

    When their newly adopted dog doesn't understand any of their commands, the boy and his family decide that he isn't very smart. But Norman is fun and friendly, so they love him anyway. Through a chance encounter with another dog owner in the park, the find out that Norman IS a smart dog -- he just knows the commands in Chinese! The family enrolls in Chinese classes so that they can communicate with their dog, and have a hard time learning the language. But together they work hard so they can tell Norman what a good dog he is in a language he will understand. A sweet story with an excellent message (though not heavy handed) about not judging the intelligence of those who speak a different language or have different abilities. Recommended for grades K-2.

  • Brodie
    2019-11-30 17:32

    I thought this was a cute story that teaches a few charming values and ideals that I hope my son will possess. Not only does it encourage children to adopt but the young boy on the book also chose the dog that had been in he shelter the longest. Knowing how often animals who have been at shelters for extended periods are overlooked, I hope this encourages more children to follow suit. I also adore that the family overcomes their initial thought that the dog is just not smart and I believe that should be viewed beyond just animals and language. It's too easy to make unfair judgement when someone doesn't share the same knowledge base as you. It was a longer read but I plan to read this to my son again as he gets older.

  • Karen Arendt
    2019-11-09 16:43

    I loved this story! A young boy goes to the pound to adopt a dog and choose Norman because he is the saddest looking dog and has been there the longest. After a week or so the family is decides the dog is not very smart because he doesn't respond to command like sit and com here. When they see Norman responding to a man in the park who has a dog, they realize that Norman understands Chinese. I added the immigration tag to this book because what the boy and his parents experience trying to learn Chinese is what it would be like for people who do not speak the same language in a country. A great way for young children to understand what it is like to be surrounded by words you don't understand.

  • Samantha Ray
    2019-11-17 18:57

    This book would be appropriate for Preschool to Second Grade. About a family who adopts a dog, but has a hard time listening to their commands. One day at a dog park, they are stunned to find out that Norman the dog only knows Chinese and not English. To understand their dog better, the family enrolls in Chinese learning class.An activity to go along with this book would be for students to learn a few commands in another language. Another activity would be for students to think about and write what they would do to understand a pet better.Adderson, C & Leng, Q. (2014). Norman, Speak! Toronto: Groundwood Books.

  • Jeffrey
    2019-11-28 21:51

    Fantastic! A family gets a new dog from the pound called Norman who does a delightly giggly rump-wiggly dance every time he's happy to see his family but no matter how hard they try to train him, Norman fails to obey. He's not very bright, they think. But imagine the family's surprise when they discover that the problem is that Norman speaks Chinese! what happens next? Read the book to find out the whimsically delicious ending! Qin Leng's illustrations perfectly match the charm and whimsy of Adderson's story

  • Noell
    2019-12-03 20:52

    A boy and his family learn to speak Chinese after realizing the dog they adopted understands Chinese.

  • Kelsey
    2019-12-06 19:34

    Age: Kindergarten-2nd gradeMulticultural: Learning ChineseThere were some very endearing parts of this book including Norman the mutt dog's hula dance of happiness, where he shakes his stump tail and his butt moves along with it. And I loved that the dog spoke Chinese so he didn't understand English commands. But there were some really awkward moments including a defeatist dad that throws a paper airplane in a class full of kids to make them laugh for some reason. There's also a lot of harping on "not being smart" because you can't speak a language.

  • Barbara
    2019-11-09 19:55

    When a boy and his family adopt a dog from the animal shelter, the boy loves him even though he's clearly not very smart. After all, Norman doesn't respond to any of their commands. When they realize why he hasn't been responding, Norman's human companions are the ones that don't feel very smart. The text and the illustrations, drawn in ink and colored digitally, are sure to make readers question their own assumptions about how animals communicate and just how smart humans are in comparison to animals.

  • Betsy
    2019-11-22 18:40

    A book I wanted to like more than I did: dog is a shelter dog (like my own!) and understands Chinese, not English. Family tries to learn some Chinese so they can communicate with their dog. For some reason, it just fell flat for me. Illustrations weren't my favorite. A nice story to have in the arsenal, though, particularly since there are quite a few Chinese-speaking children around (some of whom have been adopted themselves).

  • Elaine
    2019-11-24 23:53

    A boy and his family are at lost with the behavior of a dog that they have just adopted from an animal shelter. Little did they know that the dog only understood Chinese. Everyone starts taking Chinese lessons on Saturday mornings in the basement of a church. Even with the difficulty that everyone had learning the language, the family continued with their lessons because they loved Norman (the dog) so much.

  • Kristina Jean Lareau
    2019-11-26 16:43

    I really enjoyed this story of a Chinese-speaking dog that everyone assumed was really dumb, but just didn't understand English. While the story is innocent enough with a nice little lesson "that's not why we love him anyway", this would make a great jumping off for discussions about how people whose first language is not English are treated. This dynamic picturebook accomplishes a lot in 32 pages.

  • Kimberly
    2019-11-28 17:33

    Sweet story about a family who discovers their "not-very-smart" dog is actually quite's just that he only understands commands in Chinese. The family enrolls in Chinese classes to be able to communicate with their beloved pup. I personally would have just enrolled him in obedience classes in English, where he would surely catch on soon, rather than learn an entire new language, but that's probably why no one writes picture books about me.

  • Ina
    2019-11-22 18:32

    When a family adopts a shelter dog they choose Norman, the dog who has been there the longest. While it is mutual love at first sight, Norman doesn't seem to respond normally to words. Turns out Norman isn't stupid, he just doesn't know English. Quite by accident the family learns that Norman speaks Chinese...the second half of the book shows the family learning Chinese - and everyone is much happier in the end.

  • Naomi Blackburn
    2019-11-13 17:45

    As someone who volunteers in animal rescue, I loved this book. I thought it taught children an incredibly important lesson of not only animal adoption, but choosing one who has been at the shelter the longest and not turning down a pet due to age. Furthermore, the lesson of empathy is displayed as the boy trying to learn Chinese after learning that his dog wasn't stupid, but had learned his commands in Chinese. Just a sweet book with several incredible lessons.

  • Amanda
    2019-11-10 15:33

    Wish I knew how the Chinese words should sound; as I was reading this I tried to guess, but without a phonetic pronunciation guide, it's all just a guess. I liked how they had the definitions and how they are written in Chinese at the end of the book, but still wish for pronunciation in English.Pictures were terrific; text was a bit bumpy at times, but still very enjoyable. Love how the Chinese teacher told the dad to stop fooling around and to apply himself!

  • Jessica
    2019-12-05 21:47

    This is a really sweet book. The boy in the story finds out that instead of responding to English his dog responds to Chinese words. It leads him to want to learn Chinese. This would be a good book to introduce a child to the Chinese language, only a few words and expressions are shown. It's also a nice story about learning. The boy finds out that learning a new language is hard, but worth it when you have a person you care about that you want to talk to.

  • Traci Bold
    2019-11-11 16:55

    I never thought of the reason why a dog may or may not respond to commands if they are from a shelter so this picture book written by Caroline Adderson, illustrated by Qin Leng came to a great surprise to me.The twist in the story is unique and easily not thought of so I loved it.Clever story showing the love a family gives to a shelter dog. #mustread #mustlovedogs Published by Groundwood Books.

  • Elizabeth S
    2019-11-25 15:55

    A strangely fun story about a family that acquires a dog from a shelter, but the dog seems unable to learn anything. I appreciate how the family decides that they love the dog, even if he isn't very smart.The most fun, however, was when the family discovers that the dog understands Chinese and not English! So they take Chinese lessons so they can communicate with the dog. I love it!