cover image The Quiet Book

The Quiet Book

Deborah Underwood, , illus. by Renata Liwska. . Houghton Mifflin, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-547-21567-9

“There are many kinds of quiet,” Underwood (Pirate Mom ) writes, and this treasure of a book—which is appropriately gentle in both its understated text and artwork—catalogues many sorts of quiet that readers will recognize instantly. Some are lovely (“First one awake quiet”; “Lollipop quiet”); some less so (“First look at your new hairstyle quiet”); and some are out-and-out problems (“Thinking of a good reason you were drawing on the wall quiet”). Throughout, Liwska's (Little Panda ) subtly engaging illustrations, single-page vignettes in muted rusts, greens, and browns, imagine a community of young, delicately furred animals who ably reflect the emotions that each type of quiet elicits. A young moose's antlers peek provocatively from behind a swiveling office chair (“Hide-and-seek quiet”); a bear holds its paw over its eyes as a nurse prepares a hypodermic (“Pretending you're invisible quiet”); and an owl looks upwards with awe and clasps its wing to its chest (“First snowfall quiet”). Underwood's taxonomy of quiet will evoke soft smiles from listeners who are getting ready for “bedtime kiss” quiet (and possibly, even later, for “What flashlight?” quiet). Ages 3–5. (Apr.)