The Quiet Place by Sarah Stewart, pictures by David Small is a lively, but sad story. It begins sad with Isabel and her family moving. But that is happy also. They move from Mexico to up north by Lake Michigan, it kind of looks like Gary, Indiana but doesn't mention where exactly it is. The story is told using letters from Isabel to her Aunt back in Mexico. As Isabel grows and learns English and begins to feel more at home, the story becomes brighter with more happiness.
The pictures are mostly bright and colorful, but always depict the mood of the scene. Small's pictures are done with watercolors, with pastels or crayons and pen & ink. I couldn't find an explanation of how the pictures were done, so this is my best guess.
Anyone can relate to this story, since we have all probably felt insecure and out of place at some time. And I think children will like this because they love to build 'places' for themselves to play and use their imagination.