We are huge fans of Laura Ellen Anderson in this house but Oh I Don’t want to be Quiet is truly a joyous and wonderful book. It also offers a soothing thought to those who may be struggling with Children’s exuberance anyway but especially in light of the current self distancing, self isolation and home educating context, this book is on everyones side.
The ‘I don’t want’ series up to now has shown children finding themselves frustrated or despondent with something about themselves that they can’t really change and learn to embrace about themselves. I Don’t Want To Be Small is a very important and treasured book in our house of smaller than average girls showing that you are just right the way you are.
However, Anderson cleverly puts another wonderful spin on this concept for this book with something that may frustrate others that IS within a child’s power to change – that is children being LOUD and EXUBERANT but instead of being mean or judgy about ‘children should be seen and not heard’ it focuses on there being a time and place to be loud and a time and place to be quiet and in fact empowering the child with choice and understanding.
It really is a brilliantly clever and a fantastic one especially for grownups who like to read expressively 🤣 (moi?!) But also really grasps what it’s like for little ones who are exuberant. It’s not chastising in anyway, it’s loving & kind.
Both my girls are LOUD, they get excited and the volume increases, even though we have tried to talk about Level voices with Littlefae in particular as Tinyfae is in that Shrieking phase that girls can go through that is ear piercing and can mean anything from excitement, anger, fear, pain, the sky is blue, anything!
When we read this together, both of them could recognise themselves and each other in it – Littlefae was rather giggly saying certain pictures were her sister then mock outrage followed by blushed cheeks and sly grins if pointed out that’s her too.
It’s a playful and kind exploration of the time and place for quiet but the child learning and valuing it for themselves rather than the lesson being told or forced to them. The girl in the book learns how the world stops and she is quiet and still when she reads and is absorbed into the stories rather than distracted which is something that happens in oasis of calms throughout our day too thank goodness!
This is a wonderful feeling to learn, (or indeed for your children to learn or be reminded!) and a wonderful way to learn there’s a time for stillness and a time for raucous energy. A great one for group read alouds and snuggly afternoons stories on the sofa and encouraging further reading adventures in silent rapture too.
And to lift spirits here is a link to an approved read aloud of the story!
I Don’t Want To Be Quiet by Laura Ellen Anderson is published by Bloomsbury.
Thank you so much Laura for our copy 💜