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 dePaola’s new children’s book “Quiet”
One of the wonderful things I have observed over the many years of being a part of the preschool world is the young child’s ability to be in the present moment. Everything is an opportunity to wonder about, figure out and problem solve. For some of us adults we delight in the child’s process as they figure out the world around them. Tomie dePaola is a children’s author and illustrator who has captured this process in his latest book called Quiet. dePaola wrote this particular book for his grandchildren. I knew there was a reason I always loved this author.
Raising my own children Tomie dePaola books were frequently read out loud at bedtime. The list is long but my very favorites are Strega Nona, a delightful story about how the punishment must fit the crime. Big Anthony was told never to touch the magic pasta pot but impulse took over and so does the pasta. Now he must eat every morsel. In The Art Lesson Tommy knows he wants to be an artist when he grows up. He draws pictures every chance he gets, and his family and friends encourage him. When he gets to school he complains about “all the rules” he has to follow in class. With the help of his art teacher Tommy holds onto his individuality and begins to learn the art of compromise.
Now my own children have their children. When I read Quiet I knew that each one of my children should have their very own copy. Tomie dePaola delivers the message of being present in this very busy electronic world. I hope my children will hear his message as they raise their children.