Book Reviews

So many books. So little time.

Waiting by Kevin Henkes

"There were five of them, and they were waiting." The beginning takes us right into the action: waiting is action too. Straight into the world of imagination.

Five figurines on a window-sill. We imagine they are waiting, each one for a different reason. The illustrations clue us in. Pig with the umbrella (rain), puppy on a sled (snow), bear holding a kite (wind), owl for the moon (because owls are nocturnal) and the rabbit just being.

Things happen, but can take time. People come and go. Sometimes, like the elephant, they depart permanently. New life arrives in the form of a Russian nesting cat—perfect metaphor here—opening to reveal four kittens. This is life, in all its glory.

This life, this world, depicted here with such gentleness. Soft, muted colors. We are familiar with word-repetition. Here it is the pictures that are repeated, a pictorial chorus if you will, the repetition providing a sense of familiarity, and hence stability.

Brings to mind Milton’s line, "They also serve who only stand and wait." Small figurines, large message. A perfect snuggle-up-and-read book.

Title: Waiting

Author: Kevin Henkes

Illustrator: Kevin Henkes

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Hardback: 32 pages

ISBN: 978-0062368430