The perfect book to read while snuggling

A dog says “woof.”

Cats meow, horses neigh, cows go “Mooooo,” sheep say “Baaaaaaa,” and chicks peep-peep-peep. Every animal around the world, from living room to jungle, has something different to say. As you’ll see in the new book “Quiet” by Tomie dePaola, though, sometimes it’s best not to say anything at all.

Zoom. ZoomZoomZoom.

Grandfather noticed that everything is faster these days — much faster than they were when he was a little boy. Birds seem to fly swifter, dogs want to race harder, frogs are jumping higher, animals above the ground and beneath it want to scurry quicker, even the leaves on the trees seem like they’re taken by a wind that blows much stronger.

“Everything is in such a hurry,” Grandfather says.

But he knows one thing that hasn’t changed in all his years: there’s always a good time to slow down. There’s always a reason to sit and observe what happens around you. And if you look, there’s always a good place to do it, too – like a warm patch of grass, a big soft chair, your mother’s lap, your bedroom, or a park bench in a quiet corner.

Birds know when a rest is needed, so they sit on a branch and softly sing. Your dog understands that when he’s tired, it’s time to nap. Frogs take a minute to listen and insects stop to look around. Even trees know that they don’t have to move all the time, that they can stand silently.

There’s always a time when it’s good to sit and be “quiet and still.”

Don’t move. Just breathe without saying a word. Think quietly, without squirming or running around. Shhhhhhh. Open your eyes and watch silently. Listen for the sounds outside your window or the noises from another room.

Says Grandfather, “To be quiet and still is a special thing.”

Your little one wiggles. He squirms. She fights naps like a World Heavyweight Champ so now’s when you need something to create an atmosphere of calm and to settle a child who’s constantly on the go. You need to slow things to a crawl. That’s when you let beloved author Tomie dePaola do his magic with “Quiet.”

Indeed, you know you don’t need anything exciting just before naptime, and the story inside this book is just right: it’s one of few words, each of them begging to be read aloud in the softest manner possible. As you go through that simplicity with your child on your lap, you’ll notice that there’s not a lot of action in the illustrations, either; you’ll find a few tucked-away surprises and small bits of enchantment, but the artwork is mostly softly colored and serene, with nothing too stimulating or overly-busy. Even the characters on the last few pages sleepily reflect the title goal.

And if that’s your goal, too, then this is the book to try. “Quiet” is a toddler’s ideal blankie-and-a-story tale. It’s the perfect snuggle book for 2-to-4-year-olds. Crack open its pages, start reading, and you won’t hear a peep.

More in Life

Michelle Obama brings largest crowd of book tour to Tacoma

Former First Lady spends afternoon with local book club prior to event at Tacoma Dome on March 24.

Matt Kidd. Submitted photo
True strength has no limits

Covington resident Matt Kidd shares his story about kidney disease to help others during National Kidney Month.

Charlie Brown takes center stage in Federal Way

Centerstage’s Charlie Brown opens this weekend, and will showcase the beloved comic strips in the form of play-snippets.

Federal Way Symphony celebrates 35 years

A 35th anniversary auction and gala will kick off the symphony’s emerald anniversary celebration on March 30.

For whodunit lovers, this short story is a gleefully-dark delight

Growing older is a very good thing. First of all, there’s a… Continue reading

Search no more, you’ll want to read ‘Hero Dogs’

You felt like such a loser. It was a feeling that didn’t… Continue reading

Acclaimed actor stars in ‘An Evening with C.S. Lewis’ at PAEC

David Payne plays Lewis in March 28 performance.

Whether you like mystery or humor, this book has it for you

You didn’t recognize the number. So you didn’t answer the phone. That’s… Continue reading

A book full of heart-pounding adventure, bravery, thrills and heroics

You never wanted to get caught. Wasn’t that the point of playing… Continue reading

PSE teams up with Seattle artist to unveil new artwork in Federal Way

Artwork part of PSE’s project to save customers money by reducing graffiti clean-up costs.

You won’t be able to let ‘Maid’ go

That thing? You’re ready to let it go. It sparks joy, but… Continue reading