Charlotte and the Quiet Place

By Deborah Sosin/Illustrated by Sara Woolley

Click here for our Electronic Press Kit, including press release, discussion guide, author interview, bio, and author photo.

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                                                     TV

Check out Debbie's recent appearance on "Novel Ideas," Access Framingham TV's monthly author chat, hosted by Carol Lynn Luck and Josh Brogadir, discussing Charlotte and the Quiet Place, laughter yoga, mindfulness for kids, and much more.

                                                  Articles

Online review and author Q&A in celebration of International Quality of Life Month, Celebrate Picture Books, by Kathryn Carroll, January 10, 2017

"Award-winning Author to Visit Newton Montessori School," Newton Patch, November 30, 2016

"Newton author wins national picture book award," Newton Tab/Wicked Local, April 27, 2016

Author Karlin Gray, of "My First Picture Book Q&A," posted this inside peek about the making of Charlotte on her new blog, March 14, 2016.

"Children's book tells of quest for calm," Boston Globe, October 11, 2015

Check out parenting expert Carla Naumburg's Washington Post blog, with a lovely shout-out to Charlotte, March 17, 2016. Read about Carla's books here.

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Reviews

"In this noisy world where extroverts are held in high esteem, it’s rare to see a child’s book devoted to the joy of quiet, but this one hits the mark. A must-read for children and the adults in their lives. The book will be a useful resource for prompting discussions about finding personal quiet in the midst of a noisy home, school, or world."

NAPPA Parenting Publications Awards, Bronze Winner, September 30, 2015

"Charlotte, a brown-skinned girl with a mop of curly hair, struggles to find peace and quiet living in New York City. . . . After Charlotte chases her dog into the park, the two sit under a tree where Charlotte calms her breathing and her mind, finding a 'quiet place inside' she can return to as needed. Woolley uses electric starbursts and lightning bolts to visually punctuate the noises assailing Charlotte—it isn’t subtle, but neither is city life. Readers who feel similarly overwhelmed may take inspiration from the way that Charlotte discovers mindfulness on her own terms."

Publishers Weekly, June 1, 2015

"Charlotte lives in a bustling urban neighborhood. . . . One day, her dog breaks free from his leash and Charlotte chases him into a quiet grove. Whenever she needs quiet from that day on, she reminds herself of the calm she found inside herself that day. ... For libraries looking for tales about finding inner peace and well-being."

—School Library Journal, November 2015

"Charlotte longs for quiet, but 'children . . . yammer' and 'jackhammers blast.' Onomatopoeia and jagged bursts of color represent the unrelenting noise. . . . The overall joyous visual depiction of a crowded city neighborhood balances Charlotte's stress. . . . [t]he book introduces mindfulness effectively."

The Horn Book Guide, Fall 2016

"Charlotte can't stand it! It's noisy everywhere! . . . But is it really true that there is nowhere—anywhere—that's quiet? One day, Charlotte goes to the park with her dog. When he spots a squirrel and takes off, she has to run after him. . . . Finally winded, she rests under a tree and for the first time notices her breathing. Inhaling and exhaling, Charlotte learns that there's actually a quiet place inside herself—and it is always available. Charlotte and the Quiet Place is a delightful picture book for children ages three to eight."

Shambhala Sun (September 2015, print only)

"Some picture books present soundscapes as wondrous worlds to be explored. Charlotte and the Quiet Place is a gift for kids who are sensitive to noise and long for an escape. . . . When she and Otto go for a walk, they wander into a glen, where the world falls blissfully silent except for the hoo-hah of Charlotte's own breath. . . . Kudos for writing a book that explores the idea that we have some control over our state of mind."

Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 14, 2015

"Charlotte models mindful breathing for kids"(link to slideshow and blurb)

Lion's Roar, May 22, 2015

"Looking for a way to help your child find their own quiet place in a busy, noisy, clambering world? Charlotte and the Quiet Place by Deborah Sosin takes a gentle look at how to find quiet and peacefulness inside your own self.  Charlotte, the young protagonist in the story, lives in a noisy house, a noisy neighborhood, and a noisy school. She has trouble finding one spot that’s quiet and peaceful. Then, one day while she’s walking her dog, she finds a place in nature—that’s quieter than quiet. She hears her own breathing; she hears the silence and the quiet she’s been longing for. Later on she finds that she doesn’t need to always be in that exact place to find this quiet, and discovers instead that she can tap into that peaceful feeling no matter where she is. This is great book for parents wanting a book on deep breathing, meditation, or helping their child find the quiet inside themselves. For other kids’ books on yoga and meditation, try: The Happiest Tree, My Daddy Is a Pretzel, or You Are a Lion!

—Madison (Wisc.) Public Library Bubbler, reviewed by Tracy Kuczenski, December 11, 2015

"This book is magical because anyone can relate to the need to find a quiet place! Though Charlotte lives in a much larger city than I, each child in my classes related to noises in the home, and especially at school. It’s a simple way to introduce young children to mindful breathing techniques with the help of Charlotte’s own 'hooo-aaaah' breaths. Parents and teachers of highly sensitive children or overstimulated children will find this book especially useful. The illustrations, done by Sara Woolley, are brilliant watercolors and the children in my classes were captivated by the bright and varied scenes. We spent time looking further into each picture and identifying the different noises Charlotte would be hearing in each scene in addition to the ones mentioned in the text. I was thrilled to see diverse characters throughout the book, and so were my students!"

—Katy Delker Allred, The Mostly Mindful Mommy, Huffington Post, October 29, 2015 (click link for full review and info about Katy's "Quiet Place" guided meditation)

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Praise

“Parents and children who read this beautiful gem of a book will get a glimpse into the possibility of inner quiet and peace. Our world so needs this! Please gift this to your circle of dear ones and beyond.”

—Tara Brach, PhD, Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

“Wholesome enjoyment for kids and adults alike. Deborah Sosin's message that wherever we live we can find quiet inside will surely benefit many young people. As a native New Yorker, I especially enjoyed Sara Woolley's illustrations of Prospect Park, which help Charlotte and the Quiet Place come alive.”

—Sharon Salzberg, Co-Founder of the Insight Meditation Society, Real Happiness and Lovingkindness

"It’s a much-needed topic and I can’t think of anything else quite like it. You are very skilled at writing picture book texts—your word choice is excellent and your pacing is perfect for reading aloud. I hope this will be the first of many more from you."

—Kathleen T. Horning, Director, Cooperative Children’s Book Center

“With elegant prose and rich illustrations, this book gently opens the door for children to discover inner peace and a quiet mind. What better way to prepare children for our busy world? Parents and children will want to read it together again and again, and breathe.”

—Christopher Germer, PhD, Clinical Instructor, Harvard Medical School, The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion

“Thank you, Charlotte, for helping children and parents to discover the stillness and quiet that is always alive inside each one of us, no matter how noisy and crazy our outer worlds happen to be. The Quiet Place is a special place of peace and comfort that we can easily find in any moment just by slowing down and breathing. Hoooo ahhhh!”

—Amy Saltzman, MD, Director, Association for Mindfulness in Education, A Still Quiet Place: A Mindfulness Program for Teaching Children and Adolescents to Ease Stress and Difficult Emotions

“Children of all ages will find wisdom within themselves as they follow Charlotte's journey to discover their own quiet place. I look forward to reading this to my own children.”

—Christopher Willard, PsyD, Child's Mind and Teaching Mindfulness Skills to Kids and Teens

“As a mother, I enjoy reading this book aloud to my two young daughters, who request it again and again. As a mindfulness practitioner and clinical social worker, I love the empowering message inherent in Charlotte's experience. This beautifully illustrated story will be invaluable as I try to teach my girls how to find their own quiet place inside.”

—Carla Naumburg, PhD, LICSW, Parenting in the Present Moment and Ready, Set, Breathe

“Absolutely stunning. This beautiful story will introduce a life-saving gift to all who read it—the gift of the oasis of peace that lives inside each of us.”

—Gail Silver, Anh’s Anger and Peace, Bugs, and Understanding