Quiet by Tomie dePaola

Tomie dePaola’s newest book, Quiet, released in October, and it lives up to expectations set by his many, many wonderful books that came before.

Illustrated in dePaola’s signature style, Quiet takes readers on a walk with what we assume is a grandfather (who looks remarkably like dePaola…) and his two grandchildren. The grandfather pauses to point out how everything around them, not the people but even the animals, seems to be in a hurry. From there, the trio stops to sit, to be still, to be quiet, and to be with each other. In the end, they realize that “to be quiet and still is a special thing.” The illustrations are colorful and vibrant, but still peaceful, with lots of white space in most of the full-page spreads; the text is sparse yet intentional and powerful on each page.

Though I try to be diligent about having lots of down time in my girls’ lives, between the different schedules we have it can be hard to actually stop, sit, and be quiet— especially to do so with each other! While my girls enjoy the calm of this book, as well as pointing out the details of dePaola’s illustrations, we’ve all enjoyed the challenge to be still and to enjoy being still… Which, to be honest, is difficult for me to do!

Do yourself and your children a favor and check this book out. Find a time to read it together, and then find a time to just “be” together. Enjoy each other’s presence, and notice what you can think and see when you stop to be quiet.

Publishers recommend for ages 4-8, but this can definitely be enjoyed younger and would make a great mentor text for talking with older children about mindfulness and slowing down!

Tell me— how do you find time to be “Quiet” with your children and all of the schedules, activities, and to-dos that clutter our days?

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