Award-winning author and illustrator Tomie de Paola (Strega Nona) challenges the hustle and bustle of everyday life in his simple, almost lyrical Quiet. A grandfather and his two young grandchildren take a walk outside, noticing the busyness of the world around them. "Everything is in such a hurry," the grandfather remarks at the sight of buzzing bees, flying birds and jumping frogs. But, he tells the children, there is great beauty and wonder in being still and sitting quietly. As the children and grandfather sit on a bench, all of nature takes a moment to breathe--birds, dragonflies, dogs and frogs all take a second to be "[q]uiet and still."
Complemented by de Paola's trademark acrylic and colored pencil illustrations, Quiet is a gentle yet powerful examination of meditation in its most natural form. The book's first scenes explode with color and activity and de Paola's illustrations grow less busy and more focused as the scenes themselves become calmer and quieter. This gradual simplification of the illustrations encourages young readers to pause and focus on small moments: a dog sleeping, birds singing, a dragonfly resting. The children of Quiet become restful during their observations: the boy notes "I can see, when I'm still," while the girl notices "I can think, when I'm quiet." While a story on quietness may not seem the most natural choice for children, Quiet's brevity and simplicity make it the perfect introduction for little ones. --Kyla Paterno, former YA and children's book buyer