By Tomie dePaola – Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2018
Tomie dePaola—the Caldecott and Newbery Medal-winning author/illustrator of the Strega Nona books (and so many more)—shares a basic yet powerful message in his latest picture book. A grandfather, white-haired and upright, explores the park with his two grandchildren. Everything is moving, from the birds to the leaves to the children themselves. Grandfather suggests the trio sit quietly on a bench. As they do, they observe the subtle details of the animals and plants around them. Once they are still, the children notice that their world seems even more alive because they are taking the time to see and hear. With simple sentences and the muted colors of nature, the words and illustrations echo the theme: quiet is special. The sweetness of the message is, in turn, reflected by the sweetness in the respectful relationships between the generations and between the humans and the environment. A welcome reminder of the importance of a moment of calm in a busy world.