Be Still, Life

Be Still, Life


Written and illustrated by Ohara Hale

A Brain Pickings Best Children’s Book of 2018

Starting from the premise that everything is alive—a feeling that is deep and immediate for many children—Be Still, Life draws the reader into a still place where everything is moving. Thought-provoking in its depiction of the relationship between stillness and motion, this is certain to engage children, slowing them down through sheer fascination and delight.

Click here to watch the Be Still, Life book trailer.

ISBN: 978-1-59270-257-2
8" (W) x 8" (H) • 48 pages • HCJ

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A Brain Pickings Best Children’s Book of 2018

★ "The rambunctiously designed illustrations of bugs, plants, fruit, snails, and other aspects of the natural world are done in simple, warm, unshaded colors and black crayonlike outlines that echo and support the narrative's ingenuousness, as does the hand-lettered text. It doesn't take itself too seriously―some segments are endearingly silly, especially the asides of some of the critters voicing their opinions. What sets this book apart from so many others with the same theme of the nourishment derived from connecting with life is its infectious joy, delivered simply and sincerely." ―STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews

"Part mindfulness meditation, part delirious flight of fancy, this unusual picture book encourages readers to pause, quiet down, and take in the world, senses open. ...Hale creates winsome expressions in the plants, fruits, and creatures that fill her sherbet-colored pages, and the text’s surprising blend of profound questions and wild goofiness forms a unique invitation to delight in life and its smallest wonders." ―Publishers Weekly

"A lasting reminder to slow down and let the world fill you up"― Matthew C. Winner of The Children's Book Podcast

"Hale beckons eye, heart, and mind to drink in the glorious aliveness of the world with a generous curiosity, evocative of Simone Weil’s assertion that ‘attention is the rarest and purest kind of generosity.’ [...] Playful levity and vibrancy carry the deeper soulfulness of the message, which unfolds with a songlike quality—a sort of hymn in word and image."―Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

"A bright splash of poetic genius splashed across any day. With exuberant illustrations this book beckons smiles." ―Jesica Sweedler DeHart, The Wandering Bookseller

“Incredibly charming, sweet, and meditative.” —Anabela Piersol, @fieldguided

“This book is just so tranquil and lovely. It is all about slowing down to enjoy the sweet and simple things that this beautiful life has to offer. Its rhythmic text and whimsical illustrations are everything and it has jumped to the top pile of my new favorite things this spring. It is honestly a refreshing breath of fresh air that I could read over and over again in succession.” —Clarissa, Book Nerd Mommy

“…A book that is a celebration of the senses…” —The Book Beat (Detroit, MI)

“Using simple, soothing meter and rhyme, the book speaks to young kids about the need to slow down and the joy of living, all in the context of their own childhood experience. The artwork is delightfully whimsical and the muted color speaks to this idea of measured calm. I wholeheartedly recommend it, especially to those of us who feel inspired by the slow living movement.” —Rebecca, The Bookplate


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