Quietness has descended over my house that just a few days ago was filled with laughter, storytelling, openings and shuttings of a refrigerator door, whizzing nerf bullets, a barking dog, and many other noises too numerous to list. The quietness made me think of a simple but profound book titled, The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood. Illustrator Renata Liwska has used soft pastels to illustrate this gem. The book jacket tells us that this gentle picture book explores all the different quiets that can fill a child’s day from morning to night. At first glance you may think this is a book just for the younger set but, oh no; it is a book for all ages. Upon reflection it will lead you to think about the different kinds of quiet in your adult life…some comfortable and pleasant and some not. I love the quiet of a sleeping house…everyone safely snuggled in their beds. I love the quiet of newly fallen snow in the country. I do not love the quietness that fills the air after harsh words are spoken. I do not love the quietness of anquish that a friend or family member is feeling. I had never thought deeply about all the different kinds of quiet before reading this book.
I use this text when I’m launching Reading and Writing Workshop. Discussion on voice levels come easy after reading the text to a group of students. . It also makes a great “show, don’t tell” focus lesson for Writing Workshop. Can we do the same with other adjectives? The possibilities are endless with this less than 150 word book.
What kinds of quiet are in your life?
First one awake quiet
Others telling secrets quiet
First look at your new hairstyle quiet
Right before you yell “SURPRISE!” quiet