The Boy Who Wouldn't Speak


32 pages
ISBN 1-55037-230-0
DDC jC813'.54






Illustrations by Deirdre Betteridge
Reviewed by Elizabeth Levin

Elizabeth Levin is a psychology professor at Laurentian University.


Even though he’s five years old, Owen is a boy who doesn’t
speak—not a word, not even his name. The doctor says not to worry,
he’ll talk when he’s ready (a highly unlikely response, I think).
Then one day Fred and Lola, two super-large giants, move into the
neighborhood. Owen and the giants become friends. No one else on the
block wants to have anything to do with the giants; in fact, the
neighbors want the giants to move (an example of the NIMBY phenomenon).
As the neighbors begin yelling at Fred and Lola to move, suddenly a
voice shouts “quiet!” It’s Owen. Owen explains that Fred and Lola
are regular people, just giant-sized, and of course everyone becomes
friends. Owen has finally spoken because he finally has something
important to say.

This is a story for children aged 3 to 7. It is richly illustrated with
colorful artwork that gives the book a warm feeling.


Berry, Steve., “The Boy Who Wouldn't Speak,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 13, 2024,