I Go Quiet by David Ouimet
An introverted girl struggles to find her place in a noisy world. She believes she is too insignificant and misunderstood to communication with the people in her life.
Anxious about how she thinks she should look and speak, the girl stays silent, turning to books to transport her to a place where she is connected to the world, and where her words hold power. As she soon discovers, her imagination is not far from reality, and she begins to see possibilities for herself beyond the present. A future where voice will finally be heard is within her.
Ouimet's illustrations have graced book's pages before, with Robert San Souci's Dare To Be Scared series, and Nancy Etchmendy's Cat in Glass and other Tales of the Unnatural. Just the titles of those books give you a hint of Ouimet's style.
However, I Go Quiet is Ouimet's debut as both author and illustrator, and what a debut it is.
He weaves a magical tale about how it feels to be lonely.
The book will be compared to the likes of Shaun Tan; with brooding, haunting pictures that manage to convey deep emotions. Each page begs you to linger on it. Looming shadows and intricate drawings draw you in. Every subsequent reading reveals more and more. Ouimet has perfectly matched the illustrations to the poetic, simple story.
Like Tan, Oiumet conveys a deep understanding of being an outsider, and both authors approach reality with a sense of hope.
I Go Quiet is a timeless story and a book that I wish was around as a child. It sees those of us who are introverted, acknowledges those feelings, and validates them. There's no preaching, or message to change - it simply lets you be.
Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser
Allen & Unwin, RRP $27.99