Review of Quiet

by Tomie dePaola; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Simon    32 pp.
10/18    978-1-4814-7754-3    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-1-4814-7755-0    $10.99

A grandfather, a girl, a boy, and their dog out for a walk notice the busyness of the natural world around them: the bees buzz, the birds fly fast, a dragonfly zooms, all “busy as busy can be.” The grandfather suggests a break from being busy and proposes a rest on a nearby bench. All becomes calm, and the children notice the value of being quiet (“I can think, when I’m quiet”) and still (“I can see, when I’m still”). Thematically better suited to naptime reading than bedtime, the book is a modest paean to the virtue of taking time out for reflection (and giving a grandpa a rest). Soft pastel shades, long gentle contours, and plenty of white space create a properly serene world to take in. Call to contemplation, or a grandpa trap? Well, why can’t it be both?

From the September/October 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton

Editor Emeritus Roger Sutton was editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc., from 1996-2021. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his MA in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a BA from Pitzer College in 1978.

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