I don't usually review picture books, but The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood, with illustrations by Renata Liwska, is just too special to pass up. I don't even have nieces and nephews young enough for this one anymore, but the adults I've shown it to think it's beautiful.
Liwska's illustrations of young animals are charming. The bears and rabbits, moose, mice and porcupines almost appear to be stuffed animals with their rounded figures. But, oh, the quiet sentences in this book bring out the dreamer in the reader.
Underwood starts out with, "There are many kinds of quiet: First one awake quiet." Can you see where she's going? Each page has a type of quiet. I'm sure you've experienced this one - "First look at your new hairstyle quiet." What about that anticipation, and atmosphere of, "Before the concert starts quiet?"
Some of the "quiets" will break your heart, and Liwska's pictures enhance the lines. This is a wonderful book to share with a child, asking them for their own type of quiet. Underwood and Liwska each added their own to their biographical notes on the back. Of course I liked Deborah Underwood's "cat sleeping on your stomach quiet." I'd add my own, "Cat purring by your ear quiet." Then, there's my "Deep in a special book quiet."
I borrowed this book from another library because I wanted to see it, and it was just as charming and thought-provoking as I anticipated. It doesn't matter if you don't have a child to share the book. I'd recommend it for any adult who wants quiet memories.
Deborah Underwood's website is www.DeborahUnderwoodBooks.com
The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood. Illustrations by Renata Liwska. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, ©2010. ISBN 9780547215679 (hardcover), 32p.
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