K-Gr 2-As a grandfather picks his granddaughter up from school and they decide to take The Quiet Way Home, readers are treated to a variety of contrasting visual and aural fascinations-scenery, activities, and sounds. The pair stroll down streets, through backyards, over footbridges, across fields, down paths, and to their front door, turning away from a growling dog, a roaring lawn mower, racing bikes, clanging garbage cans, honking car horns, and scolding blackbirds. They delight in kittens, gardens, honey bees, tumbling paper, and a whirring grasshopper. Finally, they join grandmother at home. Through rich, poetic language and bright, playful acrylic and colored-pencil illustrations, children are invited to share the characters' experiences. Especially beautiful are the endpapers' serene fields of fluffy white dandelions blending with a pastel-rich sky. Team this story with C.B. Christiansen's Mara in the Morning (Atheneum, 1991), Cynthia Rylant's Night in the Country (Bradbury, 1986), and Marni McGee's The Quiet Farmer (Atheneum, 1991).-Christina Dorr, Calcium Primary School, NY
When Grandfather fetches a small girl from school, they take the quiet way home. They hear not the loud clanging and rumbling noises, but the "dart-and-flee" of the honeybee; not the hurry-up honks of the busy road, but "the rustle scuffle scrape-a-caper / Tumbling paper" in the alley; not the roar of the lawn mower, but the chip chop of the garden hoe. Huang's bright double-page spreads in acrylic paint and colored pencil show that there's excitement and connection in uncrowded places where you can get close up to one special thing. From the physicalness of the words with their echoes and rhymes, children could go to the poetry of Valerie Worth that celebrates the joy of listening hard to what is small and strong.