Tag: waiting

Review: Waiting by Kevin Henkes

Waiting by Kevin Henkes

Waiting by Kevin Henkes (InfoSoup)

The award-winning Kevin Henkes returns with a new picture book about waiting. Five toys wait on a windowsill, looking outside. The owl waits for the moon, the pig waits for rain, the bear waits for wind, the dog waits for snow and the rabbit waits because he enjoys waiting and watching out the window. Seeing what they are waiting for makes each of them happy and so do new objects and visitors. Some visitors stay for only a short time while others stay longer. They all wait together. When a cat joins them, she too is waiting but for something very specific and it will be a wonderful surprise for everyone when it comes.

This is such a quiet and marvelous book. Do not read it expecting action and adventure, rather this is a book about waiting and patience. It is a book that shows the beauty of just being, of mindfulness, of acceptance of your day. Yet it is also a book about the tug of wanting and wishing, about time passing and about being friends in the most quiet and yet deep way. There is a silence about the book too that is compelling and superbly done. This is a philosophical book, one that quietly sneaks up on the reader how deep it actually is.

Henkes’ illustrations are done in a limited color palette. They have a quiet tone all their own in their pastels. The objects themselves have an old-fashioned feel, one of timelessness which is quite appropriate here. There are sections of the book done just in pictures, which allow the reader to see the relationships between the characters as well as the patience it takes to wait.

A gem of a picture book, this one is difficult to explain well but such a great read. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

Review: If You Want to See a Whale by Julie Fogliano

if you want to see a whale

If You Want to See a Whale by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead

The incredible partnership that brought you And Then It’s Spring last year has recreated a similar magic in their second book together.  In this book, a young boy heads to the sea to try to spot a whale.  There are things that you must have to see a whale, one is time to wait and another is a way to not get too comfortable and doze off while waiting.  There are also things that you must ignore, like sweet pink roses that want you to look at them or boats that are floating by or insects crawling in the grass.  Just keep your eyes on the sea and wait.  And then…

Fogliano’s writing is poetry.  She lets us wander into distractions, taking our own eyes off the sea to explore the grass, the roses and the clouds in the sky.  Her pacing is delicious, making us wait for the payoff in the end in a way that doesn’t promise anything other than the wait and the sea itself.  It is that wait and that meander that makes this book so wonderful.  In other words, she makes the book about the journey, about being in the moment, about noticing.

Stead’s illustrations are done in her signature style with fine lines and organic colors that seem to come from childhood crayons.  Adding the friendly dog into the story works well, he serves as another pair of eyes both watching for the whale and being distracted. 

Lovely, simple and filled with charm, this picture book is thoughtful, quiet and worth the wait.   Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.