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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Cover Reveal: Quiet by Tomie dePaola

Before we get to today’s reveal, let me share something about my own background. Though not a Quaker myself, I attended a small Quaker college during my undergraduate years. While there I made many Quaker friends and came to appreciate the particular kind of mindfulness that comes when you attend a Quaker service. There, you will find a great deal of emphasis on the concept of silence and contemplative quiet.

Years later I became a children’s librarian and out of curiosity I tried to seek out the picture books that would be best suited to, say, a Quaker Sunday school classroom. Yet aside from the usual Byrd Baylor and Brinton Turkle fare, the pickings were slim. With their emphasis on non-violence, there are only so many biographies of Gandhi you can give a Quaker before they need something else.

In terms of silence itself, I’ve seen books for small children discuss quiet, but it’s always done to emphasize its opposite, loud. Few books celebrate quiet merely for quiet’s sake.

Today I am pleased to reveal the cover and a couple interior spreads for Tomie dePaola’s latest. It’s a book that is not afraid to consider the spiritual ramifications of silence. I believe quite truly that this is the book that Quakers everywhere will fully appreciate when it is released. As the publisher describes it:

 

“In this gorgeous and contemplative new picture book, dePaola reminds us that to be quiet, still, and present with one another is a very special thing.

 

Everything is in such a hurry, busy as busy can be.

The birds are flying so fast, the dragonfly is zooming over the water—even the trees are waving their leaves.

So what if we sit here, you next to me…and we can just be?

 

Tomie is a spiritual person, devoted to introspection and meditation; he even has a special meditation corner in his home. This book, an effort to share that search for inner peace with his young readers, is a passion project for him.

 

In the spirit of The Moon’s Almost Here, which was much praised for its “enchanting” and “overwhelmingly beautiful” (Booklist) illustrations, Tomie doesn’t disappoint with this soft, graceful and moving contribution to his esteemed canon of work.

Tomie dePaola is one of the most popular children’s book authors and illustrators of our time and the recipient of the 2011 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, among other lifetime achievement awards. A Newbery Honor winner, he has written and illustrated a number of books for Simon & Schuster, including Caldecott Honor book Strega Nona, as well as Oliver Button Is a Sissy, Charlie Needs a Cloak, Michael Bird-Boy, and Andy, That’s My Name. A native of Connecticut, Mr. dePaola studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and now lives in New London, New Hampshire. Visit him online at Tomie.com and TomiesBlog.Blogspot.com.”

Few artists could bring this to life better. Ladies and gentlemen, a round of quiet, if you please:

QUIET1

QUIET2

QUIET3

QUIET4

Many thanks to Lisa Moraleda, the folks at S&S, and Tomie himself for this reveal.

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About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.

Comments

  1. Kimberly Brubaker Bradley says:

    Did you attend Haverford? My daughter is there now.

  2. What a lovely book, and so needed in this busy, busy world. Do you know when it will be available? Thank you :)

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Good question.

      *checks notes*

      Nope. Should have asked about that one. I’ll find out!

  3. Tomie dePaola says:

    Betsy, I can’t thank you enough for your support of Quiet.Your words mean the world to me.
    Tomie

  4. Heather Davis says:

    Lovely! Have you seen The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood? It also focuses on the power of quiet moments, not the contrast with loudness.

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      I thought of that! Some of the examples definitely fit the bill, though not all take a specifically spiritual track. But gosh, I like that book.

  5. My heart is racing because this concept is so important in today’s world. Who better to bring this into a picture book than Tomie dePaola? I’ve been reading to my preschool class for over 30 years, and I know the best. I tire of books that are trendy. A good story with an important message is all that really matters in the eyes of children. This will be a winner, and I must know when it will be published. BTW, in my library reading group for older children, Tomie dePaola’s autobiography was hands-down the favorite.