“Noisy” has finally met its match.
This gentle tale makes “quiet” seem quite enticing. The day begins for a dark-haired, light-skinned boy with plenty of noisy, onomatopoeic fun. The “CLITTER-CLATTER” of the toy box and the “loud BOW-WOW!” of a pup are wonderful to begin with, and there’s even more fun to be had when an imaginary dragon, bear, rabbit, and monkey provide their own sound effects. Then, “suddenly,” the boy’s mother, who resembles her son, leads him inside for quiet time. “The quiet drifts in on a current of air / and settles in a tiny chair / and makes itself at home.” The boy forgets to keep the noise down and is shushed lovingly before opening his “quiet bag” wide, finding such gentle amusements as a puzzle, crafts, and books. In time it’s OK to be boisterous once more. The book deftly introduces the concept of balancing rambunctious play with peaceful fun, providing a model for introducing the latter into a home. Shin’s gentle and sophisticated mix of acrylic paint and digital media cleverly renders the quiet a visual experience by picturing it as a series of dots that circle and swirl in a clear attempt to soothe. Even readers accustomed to regular quiet times may wonder at the abrupt shift from noisy play to quiet, however.
An equal assortment of silent play opportunities and imagination makes the concept of quiet very cool indeed. (Picture book. 3-6)