A Quiet Girl cover

By Peter Carnavas & Peter Carnavas

A Quiet Girl

From critically acclaimed author-illustrator Peter Carnavas comes a gentle breeze of a picture book with themes of mindfulness, observation, and being present in the natural world.

Mary was a quiet girl. She thought quiet thoughts, stepped quiet steps, and whispered quiet words. Mary knows how to savor the small things. Wonder is everywhere: in the rustle of leaves, in the sigh of a sleeping dog, in the wingbeats of the birds who visit her upcycled feeders. But Mary’s family couldn’t be more different. Amidst the sound of blow-dryers, blenders, lawnmowers, and her brother’s trombone, Mary goes almost unnoticed. It isn’t until her family starts searching the neighborhood for her that they begin to see the world through her eyes.

A Quiet Girl invites young readers (and the noisy adults in their lives) to appreciate the thousand little pleasures that surround us—if only we would notice them.

Available In


Ages 4-7
ISBN: 978-1-77278-122-9
List Price: $22.95 CAD / $18.95 USD
Hardback with reinforced binding & with printed dust jacket
Trim Size: 9.00 x 9.00 inches / 22.86 x 22.86cm
Pages: 40

Publication date: August 4, 2020

Distributed in Canada by University of Toronto Press

Distributed in the U.S. by Ingram Publisher Services

Carton Quantity: 36

Not yet available

Paperback / softback

Ages 4-7
ISBN: 978-1-77278-257-8
List Price: $14.95 CAD / $12.95 USD
Paperback / softback
Trim Size: 8.50 x 8.50 inches / 21.59 x 21.59cm
Pages: 40

Publication date: July 26, 2022

Distributed in Canada by University of Toronto Press

Distributed in the U.S. by Ingram Publisher Services

Carton Quantity: 70

About this book

Awards and Honours

  • 2022 FLA Children's Book Award (Short-listed) (United States)
  • 2020 Northern Lights Book Award: Family Category (Winner) (United States)


Praise for A Quiet Girl

2022 FLA Children’s Book Award Finalist

2020 Northern Lights Book Award: Family Category Winner

Dr. Larry Recommends “Ten Picture Books, June 2022” Feature

★ “A quiet young girl in a noisy world, Mary shows her loud, busy family that listening allows for more to be heard. With suitable tips on the practice of mindfulness, this title will be a welcome addition to every picture book collection.”—School Library Journal Starred Review

“This gentle Australian import exhorts readers to listen, pay attention, and, sometimes, unplug…A cautionary tale about listening closely in order to discover the world’s pleasures.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Peter Carnavas has written a sweet story that will show youngsters that there is a lot be gained from being quiet and seeing and hearing all the beauty that is around us every day. The writing is simply lovely. His enchanting illustrations are the perfect companion to the story, with soft, soft colors and wonderful details. This is a winner. Do not miss it.”—Seattle Book Review

“Rating: 5/5…This book is perfect for SEL, Social and Emotional Learning, the idea of finding joy in nature and being quiet is important as never before. The colors that the author used are muted but distinctive and fit the story perfectly, and the illustrations are fun and sweet….Anyone who needs a quiet moment will love this book.”—Youth Services Book Review

“A gentle, engaging, entertaining, and thoroughly ‘kid friendly’ picture book for children ages 5–8, A Quiet Girl by author and artist Peter Carnavas is especially and unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for young readers.”—Midwest Book Review

A Quiet Girl, a buoyant celebration of paying attention quietly, will appeal to preschoolers aged three through five and their caregivers….[P]reschoolers and their caregivers will delight in the irresistible charm of A Quiet Girl and possibly even enjoy learning more about how to be mindful. Recommended.”—Canadian Review of Materials

“The soothing artwork makes a perfect backdrop for Mary’s many discoveries. Plenty of white space keeps the focus on Mary and all that she loves in nature. Quietly beautiful, this tale offers a lesson in being mindful to all that surrounds us.”—Sal’s Fiction Addiction

“A great family read, especially for those with a quiet family member or friend….I think [A Quiet Girl] can help readers understand the wonders that they might be missing, and to understand how other people might feel in a world that seems to be loud and in a hurry as a default.”—Sharon the Librarian

“[A Quiet Girl] encourages readers to practise mindfulness, disengage from the busyness of the world and be still. This enables them to listen and pay attention to the quieter things in their life. The illustrations are extremely well done and portray Mary as a very adorable little character. I highly recommend this book.”—Storywraps

“I love the illustrations in Carnavas’ books, both the way he draws nature and the quirky individualism of his human characters. But the other fantastic things about his books is the subtle, yet meaningful way in which he tackles larger issues and makes them real for kids.”—Canadian Bookworm

“The rhythmic, repetitive language acts as a soothing balm, as do the soft pastel illustrations….I barely needed the mindfulness tips Carnavas includes after the story concludes, although teachers and parents will find them helpful.”—Mr. Alex’s Bookshelf

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