cover image This Quiet Lady

This Quiet Lady

Charlotte Zolotow. Greenwillow Books, $15.95 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-688-09305-1

One of the most amazing discoveries a child makes is learning that their parents led a completely different life before their offspring came along. In this sensitive picture book, a girl winds her way through the house pointing out photographs of her mother at the various stages in her life: ``This young lady laughing with those boys is my mother,'' or ``This bride like a white flower is my mother.'' Zolotow's deceptively plain text manages to speak volumes when paired with Lobel's tender watercolor and gouache paintings. Much like a family album, the story spans one generation and flows smoothly into the next when the girl says proudly, ``And here is where I begin.'' Each spread features a small, dark-toned painting that shows the young narrator while the facing page offers a richly colored painting of her smiling, dark-haired mother, sporting the appropriate period dress and hairstyle. An excellent choice for quiet mother-child sharing, this book speaks beyond its seeming slightness--and is sure to invite geneaology lessons filled with fond memories. Ages 3-up. (May)