My Favorite Book of the Spring

Josie Leavitt - April 12, 2010

Every once in a while, a gem of a book arrives at the store. Last week such a gem was delivered in a Houghton Mifflin box, and the book in question is The Quiet Book. The sign for me that a book is magic is when I hand it to customers and say, “You have to read this.” and they do, and they buy it, even if they came in for a mystery.
This book 05472156733.jpgis deceptively simple.  Straightforward sentences that take you through a day are all about moments when you’re quiet. Beautiful art with a muted palate, done by Renata Liwska, is spot on. “First one awake quiet,” gives way to more unique quiet situations: “Jelly side down quiet.” As two little animals stare at the sandwich on the floor,  wondering what happened. The art is beautiful and somehow the author, Deborah Underwood, has captured so many authentic quiet moments, that this book will become a treasure to read, again and again.
First haircut quiet gives way to last one picked up at school quiet, which conveys all the worry of the last child sitting on the steps waiting for a parent who’s running late. All the notes struck are solidly true. Nothing seems forced or cloying. Each quiet moment is one that makes you try to emulate it. Can I remember, first snow quiet?  Yes, but the book helps, by showing the stillness of the first snow. And it will help young children learn about the quality of quiet moments. I can also see this being a great book to help soothe anxious children who need some gentle calming.
I’m not one for gushing about one book in this blog, but I simply adore this book and know that I’ve horribly under-ordered it, as my display is almost empty. And I’ve quietly made a note to order more this afternoon.

7 thoughts on “My Favorite Book of the Spring

  1. Carol Chittenden

    We love it just as much, and our customers, though few at this season, are definitely connecting. Makes me both want to shout about it, and also have a “watching them discover it” kind of quiet moment.

  2. shelftalker elizabeth

    I have to chime in here, because this book is so freaking adorable it’s almost criminal. The author has perfectly captured so many different kinds of quiet — many are hilarious, others reverent — with understated, droll text. And the artist has a marvelous style: so simple, and yet the expressions and postures of the animals reacting to the various kinds of quiet are so dead-on accurate you laugh out loud. It’s a joyful little book, for all of its quietude.

  3. Ellen Mager

    Elizabeth, I also have only 1 left in the display and am reordering. The other picture book this Spring that is flying off the shelf is PETE THE CAT: I LOVE MY WHITE SHOES by Eric Litwin What a great message! Have not listenedd to the downloadable song, but my customers say the kids love it. On the other side THE DREAMER by Pam Mumoz Ryan and Peter Sis. I think,is truly BRILLIANT and goes to the top of the list of my favorite hand sells/book talk to the customer with Invention of Hugo Cabret and World’s Greatest Elephant.

  4. Maureen Palacios

    This is a brilliant book — the best example of less is more. Easily the best book of spring — from our customer’s reactions to sales. Thank you to Deborah Underwood and Renata Liswka along with HMHC.

  5. a barefootboy

    I have a new grandson … Amedeo Levi Buda… who is too young of course to read yet … however i will have to keep this book by my bedside until I can read it to him.


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