Caroline Adderson welcomed student representatives from all of the elementary schools in the VSB to a celebration of literacy along with their librarians and principals or vice-principals. “Norman Speaks” was the book selected by the Vancouver Elementary Principals Vice Principals Association (VEPVPA). Each year the VEPVPA “Celebrating Literacy Committee ” selects a book. The Association invites the author to share the story with students and then puts the autographed book into the one hundred VSB elementary school libraries in Vancouver. “Norman Speak” was selected for the storytelling and the illustrations in the picture book, as well as the story itself. Caroline Adderson fascinated both groups with the story of the dog who inspired the story, a real dog that really only understood Chinese. The book explores the assumptions that young and old people make when someone does not speak the language. Something wise to be talking about in a city like Vancouver, where so many people speak English as a second or third or fourth language. Caroline was an amazing presenter – a prolific author with teaching experience! She had us all engaged in grappling with the task of trying to speak another language. She also shared a video clip with the illustrator, Qin Leng, discussing how she approached doing the illustrations. The students were amazed to learn that the authors and illustrators don’t usually meet until after the drawings are done, if ever.
Ben reports that the highlight of the event was having books and pieces of paper signed by the author. More than one students reported that the dog shaped chocolate was the best part. The was truly a wonderful illustration of how books can help us to adopt another perspective and delight in the experience.