Life has felt kind of crazy lately. Everything is swirling around me at a rapid-fire rate and I am not seeing much of a slowdown in the near future. There’s a lot of external clatter. The push and pull, tug and tear of all the things that people are asking of me. Things that need to be done. Things that I demand of myself that really don’t have to be done and all the things that I just wish would magically get done on their own. Focus is hard. I jump from task to task, welcoming distractions, while at the same time clamoring for a little peace and quiet.

I close my eyes.

I take a deep breath.

I relish the solitary seconds of these two infinitely small, highly restorative actions; and then I hear a small little voice calling me.

“It’s time for stories mommy!”

I am confident I don’t have the energy this week, or this night to pull off a dramatically engaging story with distinctly different sounding characters. But I gather what little left I have in me for this sweet child who adores this time we spend every night (as do I) cuddling and turning the pages of a curious new adventure… and then I remember THE QUIET BOOK by Deborah Underwood.

Yes! A children’s book is actually the perfect remedy to all this commotion. Well, that and spending some A+ quality time with the kiddo.

There’s no doubting THE QUIET BOOK is a children’s book. But in the few times that I have read it, I think I have benefited more (okay, maybe differently) than my son has. It’s a lovely little book, graced with delightfully drawn woodland creatures by Renata Liwska, that shares the variety of quiet moments a child can encounter in a day. Bunnies, birds, bears and deer experience quiet moments like “Sleeping sister quiet,” “Lollipop quiet,” and “Bedtime kiss quiet.”

As we turn the pages, I feel myself relaxing and slowing down. The pace of the book actually encourages this. There are bursts of loud quiet, like “Right before you yell SURPRISE! quiet” which makes my little guy laugh and read the page again, blurting SURPRISE even louder. Now we are both laughing.

“This is my favorite kind of quiet, mommy,” he says as we turn the page to “Top of the roller coaster quiet.”

And I can almost picture his own face, like the furry little creatures sitting in the car at the top of the ride, a mixture of fear and exhilaration capturing their breath before they round the corner and come flying down.

“That’s a good one,” I acknowledge.

My favorite sits on the adjoining page, a serene scene of a bunny and bear skipping rocks across the water. “Best friends don’t need to talk quiet.”

We finish the book and our nightly routine of songs and hugs before the official tuck-in and lights out. THE QUIET BOOK has been the perfect silencer to all the external noise of this past week.

Rating: 5 stars
Genre: Children’s
Pages: 32