Reading/Interest Level: Preschool
Author: Tammi Sauer
Illustrator: Arthur Howard
Publisher: Clarion Books
Wyatt spends most of his time being quiet—so quiet that he barely says a word. But his field trip buddy, Noreen, is as talkative as they come. Noreen happily chats away during the field trip, while Wyatt says nothing, until he spots some falling rocks. He must then push past his shyness to warn and save Noreen! From then on, the two become good friends, relying on the each’s ability to complement the other. Who would have thought friendship could emerge between such complete opposites?
The hand-drawn illustration style, while not particularly attractive, does convey a sense of accessibility and down-to-earth practicality. What Quiet Wyatt lacks in cutesy, endearing aesthetics, however, it makes up for with a helpful, perspective-inducing message. The book does a fantastic job demonstrating the value of many different personality types, particularly, as the title implies, the quiet ones. However, teamwork is another prevalent theme, as the book demonstrates through the opposite personality types represented by Wyatt and Noreen and their eventual coming together in a balanced friendship. The two work together and each learn to respect the strengths of the other. This book would be excellent as a read-aloud for preschool-age children learning to interact and get along with other children in social settings, teaching them the value of every individual, no matter how quiet (or how loud).