The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood

51484222Lynn: “There are many kinds of quiet.  First one awake quiet.  Jelly side down quiet.”

Deborah Underwood’s enchanting new picture book, The Quiet Book (Houghton 2010), begs to be read in a whisper as each page depicts a different kind of quiet.  Renata Liwska’s soft-tone pencil drawings of cuddly critters reflect the hushed tone perfectly.  Ideal for preschoolers, each page expands on the theme, showing just one kind of quiet.  Some are funny, some are sweet and all are the sort of quiet moments small children will easily understand.  I’m especially fond of “what flashlight? quiet” and “last one to be picked up from school quiet.”  This is the kind of picture book I really admire – one simple concept exquisitely explored.  Use this for bedtime, story time and as a class writing prompt.  How fun to think of your own kinds of quiet like  – “struggling to adequately describe a brilliant book” quiet.

Cindy: Nuances in vocabulary are difficult concepts to teach. This one does so exquisitely. “Top of the roller coaster quiet” is much different from the examples Lynn quoted. I definitely could see this as a writing and art prompt. Even trying a new word, like LOUD, would give the kids ample fodder for their own collection of word usage. This books whispers “quiet” throughout and should be a delight to share, what else, quietly, with young children.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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