Softly, Softly: The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood
THERE ARE MANY KINDS OF QUIET.
FIRST ONE AWAKE QUIET.
DON'T SCARE THE ROBIN QUIET.
HIDE AND SEEK QUIET.
Deborah Underwood's brand-new The Quiet Book (Houghton Mifflin, 2010) speaks softly but carries a big impact on the reader and listener. Subtle and soft-spoken in tone, Underwood's lyric use of language makes even the very sound of the word QUIET, with its hushed, sibilant sound, a part of the poetry of this book as she evokes the many ways of silence. Some make quiet a part of the fun. such as playing hide-and-seek inside, where you even need hold-your-breath quiet:
RIGHT BEFORE YOU YELL "SURPRISE!" QUIET.
SWIMMING UNDERWATER QUIET.
Some are inside-your-head reflective moments of quiet:
FIRST SNOWFALL QUIET.
MAKING A WISH QUIET.
And some are those worried, uh-oh moments of quiet:
LAST ONE TO GET PICKED UP FROM SCHOOL QUIET.
Artist Renata Liwska's soft pencil illustrations digitally colored in muted tones of brown, gray, and green evoke the humor, anxiety, and cozy satisfaction of familiar quiet times, as charming little animals with their simple but expressive faces and body language illustrate the quiet moments of sleeping sisters, coloring inside the lines, and bedtime hugs and kisses. This is a wonderfully soothing bedtime book, a useful teaching tool for preschool classes who need to learn the value and skill of quietude, and a simple but effective subliminal lesson in the use of metaphor and the very sound of the words chosen to create a mood and sustain a theme. Quiet kids will get it; noisy kids need it. The Quiet Book is a book whose soft spoken message comes through loud and clear.