I love these books by David Ouimet. They’re superb examples of how picture books can resonate with readers of all ages. The first book, I Go Quiet, tells the story of an introverted girl who struggles to fit in. Through harnessing her imagination and the power of books, she begins to realise a future where her voice will be heard. In the second book – I Get Loud – our young introvert grows in confidence and makes her first friend. By embracing their differences, their special relationship enables them to overcome difficulties that they would have found hard to deal with by themselves.
These are books that I really wish had been around when I was younger. The powerful messages will definitely strike a chord with all introverts regardless of age, particularly I Go Quiet. They also provide a window for more extroverted readers to gain a sense of what life can feel like for those different to themselves. My daughter (who’s just turned 10) and I shared these together and they paved the way for some interesting and broader discussions about difference and empathy.
Powerful words have definitely been matched by equally powerful imagery. If you swipe through the pictures, you’ll see that these illustrations pack a hefty visual punch: they are beautiful, detailed and mesmerising. I keep finding myself staring at them, unable to put the books down.
Phillip Pullman is quoted as having called I Go Quiet unique. I think it’s fair to say that both books fall into that category for me.