Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Many different kinds of quiet appear in this beautiful new picture book by Deborah Underwood titled, quite simply, The Quiet Book. The illustrations are delicate and authentically convey emotions ranging from “the first one awake quiet” to the “thinking of a good reason you were drawing on the wall quiet.” The message is poignant, humorous and true. There are many different kinds of quiet, but maybe none as important as one left out of this story: the quiet of a listening parent.

It takes the average toddler 10-14 seconds to process a question. Try counting that out Mississippi-style and you’ll discover what an eternity it really is. Children need that extra time to coordinate the parts of their brain required to process and articulate language. Being able to respond to questions, and understand the parts of a story are part of your child’s narrative skills. The next time you ask a question, practice the fine art of being quiet. What you hear might just surprise you.

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