Monday, July 4, 2011

Loud and Quiet

When I saw The Quiet Book, I loved it immediately. I thought the metaphors were pitch perfect, and I felt like I knew exactly what author Deborah Underwood was trying to convey with different kinds of quiet like "lollipop quiet" and "first snowfall quiet." I thought this would make a great book for storytime with younger kids and would work for language arts as older kids thought of different types of quiet.

Then I saw The Loud Book. Renata Liwska's illustrations of animals are absolutely adorable, and they enhance and amplify the text. This one is also great for storytime, either at the beginning to get kids enthused, or near the end to reignite the energy. It would also work for language arts and finding different kinds of loud. As I sit here on the Fourth of July, I can appreciate "fireworks loud," but I'm not sure younger readers will fully appreciate "alarm clock loud." "Good crash loud" in bowling is juxtaposed with "Bad crash loud" coming from the kitchen, followed by "Deafening silence loud." This one may have to be explained.

I thought of what to say about these books, and it seemed that The Quiet Book was so much better than The Loud Book. As I sat comparing and contrasting, it dawned on me how brilliant both books are. I am a quiet person. I revel in the quiet. I notice the nuances of quiet and appreciate them. Loud to me is just loud. It is so discordant that I do not hear anything but loud. When I got to the last page of The Loud Book - "Crickets loud," I had the "Aha Moment." Yes, when I am trying to sleep crickets sound awfully loud because they are disturbing the quiet of the night.

So now I see there are many more situations to use these books, either alone or together. What do kids prefer and why? It seems sometimes loud can be embarrassing or disruptive, but there are times, like a parade or bowling, when it's fun and exciting.

And the Jewish mother in me recalls the stories of the rabbis: A husband would come home at night and complain to his wife that the house was a mess, the kids were noisy, etc. They went to speak to their rabbi, who told the husband: "Do you know how many people are praying to have a messy, noisy house like you have? Be grateful you have lively, healthy children."

So thank you, I've learned the value of both quiet and loud.

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