I have chosen two books to highlight this time because I think they would work well together and because they tie in with a thread that is running through this issue—a focus on nature and enjoying the outdoors that appears in several articles and on the book review pages.
In The Silence Slips In by Alison Hughes, illustrated by Ninon Pelletier (Orca Book Publishers, 2019; a French version is also available), Silence is depicted as a large, white, shaggy creature who hovers, waits, appears and disappears, according to what is going on, especially to how Noise is behaving. But the good thing is, you can summon Silence whenever you need it, even if Noise is around. All you have to do is close your eyes and breathe deeply to invite Silence to come padding back on its soft, furry feet to surround you.
Albert’s Quiet Quest, written and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault (Tundra Books, 2019), follows Albert as he leaves his noisy row house, with a book under his arm, to seek some quiet time in the back alley. There he finds a painting of a beach scene, put out for disposal by a neighbour, which inspires a peaceful daydream. Soon, however, his friends appear, one by one, and try to entice him to join them in various activities. His quiet beach scene is soon populated by noisy playmates when all Albert wants to do is sit quietly and read his book. The happy ending comes after he makes a frustrated plea for quiet reading time and all the others disappear, only to re-appear and settle down with their own books.
Both these books are rich in possibilities for use in the classroom. And although they are picture books, they could be used beyond the primary grades to stimulate discussion, sharing of experiences, personal writing, and the development of strategies for coping with the challenges of life. Aren’t we lucky to have such great Canadian children’s literature to stimulate our students’ learning and personal development!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Diana is the Editor at Canadian Teacher Magazine.
This article is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Spring 2019 issue.