Author: Nancy Sweetland
Illustrator: Rick Stevens
Publisher: Erdman’s Books for Young Readers
Audience: Ages 3 – 5
Summary: Written in soothing if unsurprising verse, this picture book raises children’s consciousness to the quiet marvels found in nature: “Listen for God’s quiet things, / like butterflies with velvet wings, / or raindrops making / quiet rings on water.”
Literary elements at work in the story: A poem about the quiet sounds of nature with a few repetitions of the phrase, “God’s quiet things.” The text contains awkward phrasing, and several of the rhymes seem forced. The result is a book that will leave readers thinking, “So what?” The pastel technique is good; the pictures, however, are pleasant but undistinguished and only serve to reinforce the lackluster quality of the text.
Perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability: God’s other quiet things include burrowing worms, swimming fish, nightfall, and morning dew, all of which are appropriately rendered in tranquil pastels. These illustrations follow one boy wandering in a rural setting, observing his surroundings. Stevens’ misty-eyed illustration style evokes an America of times past, but nature’s subtle beauty is the real topic of this book.
Theology: Although God gets top billing, The Creator is mentioned only in passing; oddly, God is left wholly unexplored. Nevertheless, this book could elicit a peaceful sleep.
Faith Talk Questions:
1. Ask your child(ren) to sit very still, close their eyes, and listen. What do you hear?
2. What quiet things that God made do you enjoy?
3. How do you listen for God?
Faith review by Kelly Hames, Union-PSCE in Charlotte
God’s Quiet Things by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.