Patience is not Phoebe’s strong suit.
Waiting until tomorrow for pancakes, ice cream, and a school party makes her grumpy. “Grown-ups always said tomorrow when they didn’t want to do something now.” This common frustration is the premise of this well-meaning but essentially bland picture book. Simple ink-outlined illustrations colored in Adobe Illustrator in muted shades of blue, orange, purple, and brown are designed in a retro style but feel incomplete. They do little to add interest or depth to the story. Phoebe has brown skin and puffy, brown hair, and her classmates are shown as a diverse mix. A brown-skinned, curly-haired child plays a drum, a red-haired, pale-skinned girl with glasses is assigned a maraca, and a light-skinned blonde girl plays a xylophone in her wheelchair. (Curiously, she does not have a mallet.) One of the teachers is pale; the other is light brown. After being told to wait until tomorrow all day long and falling into a snit, Phoebe melts down at her brown-skinned Grammy’s. Of course, Grammy offers, and Phoebe quickly accepts, the inevitable and simplistic resolution to the problem: a “secret ingredient to make [tomorrows] into todays” that is anticlimactically revealed to be a good night’s sleep. No doubt, Phoebe will find fans, as Zwillich is the creator of TV and internet video content in both Canada and the U.S.
Those with limited budgets should opt for more-creative, less-contrived books that address this premise. (Picture book. 4-8)