THE WAITING PLACE by Marc Sutherland


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
Email this review


Outrageous adventures take place at the foot of the bed when a bout of insomnia allows a child’s imagination to take flight. Spare, imperfectly rhyming text gives readers just enough structure to enter the illustrations, which yield something new with every viewing. Reminiscent of the artwork of Chris Van Allsburg, enlivened by a touch of Monty Python, Sutherland’s black-and-white drawings delight the eye with their whimsy, complex but contained by the unchanging perspective from the child’s perch: covers and foot of bed, floor, dresser, and chair; on the one wall is a window, on another is the door. The framework doesn’t change, but the view ebbs and flows with people, creatures, and events, as a Viking longboat goes by, a hot-air balloon visits the Man in the Moon, a snowy woods appears that is worthy of Robert Frost, and Grandmother Gryphon arrives to play chess. Unseen until the very last page, the child whose imagination has called forth the riot of symbols and images gets out of bed, no longer waiting sleeplessly but ready for a snow day’school cancelled and the “hills quietly calling.” A jubilant debut, half-mad and wholly invigorating. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-8109-3994-0
Page count: 24pp
Publisher: Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1998