REVIEW: A Quiet Girl by Peter Carnavas
Mary was a quiet girl. She thought quiet thoughts, stepped quiet steps, and whispered quiet words. Mary knows how to savor the small things. Wonder is everywhere: in the rustle of leaves, in the sigh of a sleeping dog, in the wing beats of the birds who visit her upcycled feeders. But Mary’s family couldn’t be more different. Amidst the sound of blow-dryers, blenders, lawnmowers, and her brother’s trombone, Mary goes almost unnoticed. It isn’t until her family starts searching the neighborhood for her that they begin to see the world through her eyes. From critically acclaimed author-illustrator Peter Carnavas comes a gentle breeze of a picture book with themes of mindfulness, observation, and being present in the natural world. A Quiet Girl invites young readers (and the noisy adults in their lives) to appreciate the thousand little pleasures that surround us—if only we would notice them.
As a quiet person, I enjoy seeing other quiet people in books. Mary is a sweet and thoughtful person whose family seem fairly oblivious to her special personality. I like that Mary stays true to her character and doesn’t give in to the request to “Speak Up” and be louder. She is who she is and stays that way. It’s her family who change, get less noisy, and begin to see the world from her perspective. The illustrations are lovely and Mary a joy. Her family, though, well they need to pay more attention long before they did. B-