WAITING by Kevin Henkes
Kirkus Star

WAITING

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 6
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Five toys ranged on a windowsill exemplify existential pleasure.

In the mode of such pastel-hued, minimalist delights as A Good Day (2007), Henkes presents a pig with an umbrella, a bear with a kite, a puppy on a sled, an owl with spots, and a rabbit with stars (this last is depicted as a spring-loaded rabbit head, rather like the innards of a jack-in-the-box). Respectively, the first four wait for the rain, the wind, the snow, and the moon; the rabbit just likes waiting. Henkes keeps readers gently off-balance as to the nature of these toys' sentience. Sometimes, as when comically on their backs "sleeping," they seem stiff and immobile; other times, as when they huddle together during a thunderstorm, eyes wide and frightened, their bodies exude warmth and softness. Images are snapshots of single moments, and never is a child depicted; it is left to readers to decide whether the toys move on their own or have been posed by a hand outside the frame. The story is all about quietly filling in the gaps; though little appears to happen beyond the changing of seasons and arrival (and in one case, tragic departure) of other toys, the protagonists' contentment with just waiting is contagious.

Waiting as a joyful activity in itself is almost never celebrated; this Zen-like meditation might win some converts. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-06-236843-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Greenwillow
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2015




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