In casual rhyme, this picture book extols the values of stillness and observation.
Speaking directly to readers, author/illustrator Hale delivers a passionate, can-you-believe-how-good-it-is-to-be-alive homage to living. Focusing on the natural world, she describes the possibilities of what can be experienced with the senses when readers become still: seeing the shadow of “a small snail snoozing” growing long as time passes, feeling “the sun’s light,” hearing the “tapping of tiny mice feet,” and, whimsically, the song of fruit in a bowl: “you might hear the hum / of a crisp summer’s apple.” The narrative’s heartfelt exhortation to, and inclusion of, its readers (“you are also a part of the wonderfulness of life!”) saves it from the tired sanctimony that can bog down themes of this type. The rambunctiously designed illustrations of bugs, plants, fruit, snails, and other aspects of the natural world are done in simple, warm, unshaded colors and black crayonlike outlines that echo and support the narrative’s ingenuousness, as does the hand-lettered text. It doesn’t take itself too seriously—some segments are endearingly silly, especially the asides of some of the critters voicing their opinions.
What sets this book apart from so many others with the same theme of the nourishment derived from connecting with life is its infectious joy, delivered simply and sincerely. (Picture book. 3-9)