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: I Am Yoga by Susan Verde

I Am Yoga by Susan Verde

I Am Yoga by Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds (InfoSoup)

A girl explains how yoga helps her in her day. When she is feeling the world is moving too quickly and that her thoughts are racing, she uses yoga to slow her mind, stop her heart from racing, and make room for creativity and ideas. The book then moves into the girl doing yoga positions which she describes in terms of the way that they make her feel. They make her shine like a star, feel like she is dancing with the moon, seeing far and wide, and sailing on the sea. She also talks about what those moves do, like make her more focused, open her heart, and be more playful. Basically, it is a book that celebrates yoga and the many ways that it can impact your day and make you more mindful.

Verde’s words are ones of joy and cheer. She captures the zing of the busy day and the distractions that come with it. Then comes the centering and slowing and the yoga, that are quieter and even more joyful. The focus is on the beauty of those moments, the way they transform a person and the feeling that you are left with afterwards. The mindful piece is clearly there, though yoga and its movements takes center stage.

Reynolds uses simple images to convey the feelings of the various movements. Awash with watercolors, the line drawings glow on the page. Some pages have just one color while others have sunsets of oranges, yellows and purples. The use of the bright colors makes the book a rainbow to read, moving from one feeling to the next and guided by the colors themselves.

A vivid and lovely look at yoga and its power to transform, the book ends with a guide to the yoga positions seen in the book. Appropriate for ages 3-6.

Reviewed from library copy.