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Author: DePaola, Tomie
While observing the busy world around them, two children and their grandfather take a moment to appreciate being quiet and still.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/15/18)
School Library Journal (10/01/18)
The Hornbook (00/09/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2018 A grandfather walks with two children, pointing out the busyness in nature around them. Birds are flying, a dog is chasing a ball, a frog is jumping, a dragonfly is zooming, and trees are waving their leaves. The grandfather invites the children to pause and be still. As they sit, the narrative takes a cyclical turn and revisits each thing previously described. Now the birds are roosting and singing. The dog has fallen asleep, and the frog and dragonfly are calm. Most of the acrylic and colored-pencil illustrations, in dePaola’s signature style, appear on crisp, white backgrounds, and occasionally some natural elements extend beyond the light green frame of the pages, which creates a sense of expansiveness. The book’s central messages are emphasized by full-page portraits of the children: the dark-haired, brown-eyed girl says, “I can think, when I’m quiet,” while the red-headed boy with green eyes adds, “I can see, when I’m still.” Simple, straightforward, and effective, this book gently encourages children to find comfort in their own quiet moments. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2018 PreS-Gr 2—In a park one day, a girl, boy, and their grandfather enjoy observing the busy activities of the creatures around them. Birds hurry across the sky. Their dog chases a ball. A frog jumps and a dragonfly zooms. Even leaves on the trees are moving. So grandfather suggests they sit together quietly. Coincidentally, all the animals that were previously active pause as well. The birds sit on tree branches singing, the dog falls asleep, the frog just sits and blinks, and the dragonfly stops beating its wings. Soon both children come to appreciate the benefits of being quiet. DePaola's signature cartoon illustrations are done with transparent acrylics and colored pencils using a muted palette that aptly matches the story's theme: "To be quiet and still is a special thing." All the spreads are bordered in pastel green and contain fun details such as a parade of ladybugs walking across a leaf and animal activities below ground. White space greatly increases when animals and humans are at rest. Although the animals' cessation of activities just when the humans decide to do so seems somewhat contrived, the value of taking time to remain quiet is an important message to share with children. VERDICT Best shared one-on-one or as a small group mediation.—Marianne Saccardi, Children's Literature Consultant, Cambridge, MA - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.