As someone who craves a bit of alone time every day, I found The Silence Slips In by Alison Hughes and illustrated by Ninon Pelletier (Orca Book Publishers, 2019) calming and affirmative.
Silence is personified and looks a lot like Sadness character in When Sadness is at Your Door, which I reviewed last month. Silence though, is white and smiling and has ears; perhaps useful to tell when Noise is getting too loud and a sensitive child needs Silence’s services.
The language is flowing and calming. “Silence loves reading, thinking, long hugs and mugs of hot chocolate by a peaceful fire.” The Silence Slips In gives permission to those children who need to be off on their own for a bit when the world is overwhelming. And the book shows that silence isn’t scary for those children who find silence unnerving. Silence can be found after a party, after a storm or with darkness at bedtime.
True silence, if we mean the absence of sound, is probably not possible or a sign of something terribly wrong with our world. But silence as a reprieve from the incessant clamor of the man-made world is likely an endangered thing, and for others like me, necessary for our mental health. Once when we lost power and I was home alone, it struck me how all I could hear was birdsong. There was no radio, no refrigerator hum, no fans running, just sounds from nature. It was a blissful interlude.
I think children who crave a little silence as well as those who thrive on noise and chaos will enjoy The Silence Slips In. We are all on a spectrum with regards to feeling introverted or extraverted. Understanding the need for silence can help us all.