Review of ‘A Quiet Girl’

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For the quiet ones and for the noisy ones (to teach us how to listen)…‘A Quiet Girl’ by Peter Carnavas will gently (and quietly) settle in your soul.

Title: ‘A Quiet Girl’
Author/Illustrator: Peter Carnavas
Publisher: University of Queensland Press and Teachers’ Note by UQP are here
Age Range: early childhood – lower primary
Themes: family, mindfulness, quietness, loudness, acceptance, nature.

Mary is a quiet girl. Her family makes so much noise they hardly notice her – or anything else. Until Mary, in her own gentle way, shows them what they’ve been missing.

Click on title links or cover image to purchase.

I had the absolute pleasure of launching this book into the world (quietly) at Riverbend Books last Saturday. I was honoured to be asked, but also a little taken aback…given I am pretty much one of the loudest people around. But as Pete said – he is quiet and I am loud so it was the perfect balance. Clearly Peter has embedded much of himself in his heartfelt picture book for readers of all ages. Indeed in the teachers’ notes he says: As an adult, I’ve been told to be a bit more bold and assertive. It hasn’t been awful, just a bit irritating for, throughout all of this, I couldn’t help wondering, ‘Why can’t everybody else be a bit quieter? A bit less assertive (and more considerate)?’. This was one of my motivations for ‘A Quiet Girl’. (UQP, see more here).

This multi-layered text is brimming with wisdom but never, ever shouts platitudes at the reader. Mary simply goes about her day in her quiet way, teaching us all a lesson about appreciating the quiet and the introverted among use and relishing the moments of calm in a world which is far too busy and far too loud.

‘A Quiet Girl’ does not have Mary ‘save the day’ with her quiet approach to life. No Superhero of Quiet is needed. Rather, The Noisy are asked to be quiet, to come down to where Mary sits and simply appreciate the beauty of observing the world from a quieter angle. There is a lesson in this for all of us (most especially me) and ‘A Quiet Girl’ is essential for every home and school bookshelf…where it will sit quietly, waiting to be picked up, poured over and savoured.

Peter Carnavas also cites ‘The Quiet’ by Susan Cain as an inspiration for his latest picture book and I cannot help but think that as a loud extrovert, I should probably add this to my bedside reading pile.

Do enjoy the gorgeous and melodic book trailer for ‘A Quiet Girl’ below. 




Megan Daley Bio

Looking for more great book reviews and recommendations? I’m Megan Daley and you can find out more about me here.

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