A Quiet Girl

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Peter Carnavas, A Quiet Girl, University of Queensland Press, April 2019, 32pp, RRP $24.95 (hbk), ISBN 9780702260025

A Quiet Girl is the delightful new picture book from award-winning author-illustrator Peter Carnavas. It’s a celebration of the subtle beauty that surrounds us, and a powerful tribute to the introverts amongst us.

Mary is a quiet girl. Her family makes so much noise that they hardly notice Mary or anything else for that matter. Instead of listening more carefully, they urge Mary to speak up but that just isn’t her way and little Mary is drowned out, leaving her family ignorant of the wonders she so wants to share with them.

As the story unfolds, colour drains from the delicately detailed pages until Mary is missing entirely from the playful illustrations.

In her own gentle way, Mary shows her family just what they have been missing and how the world can open up to them when they finally stop to listen for a while.

Peter Carnavas’s storytelling is as joyfully entertaining and empowering as ever and A Quiet Girl’s poignant message is sure to stay with its readership, long after the story is finished.

Suitable for pre-school children upwards, this title is a worthy salute to those quiet, introverted children who can so easily go unnoticed, and a timely reminder of the rewards we can reap by spending a few mindful moments each day, noticing our surroundings and taking in the magic of nature.

Reviewed by Lisa Hoad

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