Book Reviews

So many books. So little time.

Wait by Antoinette Portis

It begins on the front cover, wraps around to the back, and skillfully draws us in. Hurry. Wait. Just two words tell the story (with a third word on the very last page).

Forward-moving Mom. Backward-looking son.

"Hurry," says Mom.

"Wait," says the son.

There is a whole world waiting to be discovered. Wait.

Friendly sausage-dog. Mom’s stance displays impatience, knees bent, ready to go. Small details tell the story.

Past the concrete mixer. Phone in hand. "Hurry!"


Past the leisurely gentleman feeding the ducks. "Hurry!"


Reluctance in every fiber of his being as they pass the ice-cream truck. "Hurry!"

Son hurries along with mom, but turns back to see the world passing by.

He points to a rainbow cone. "Hurry!"

Past the fishes and the red flowers. "Hurry!"

Such legerdemain!

Does that eye belong to the fish or the boy?

Amidst the five-petaled red flowers why is there one with just four petals?

The son is a drag parachute to Mom’s forward motion.


That four-petaled thing is a butterfly.

The rain comes pounding down.


Hurry? But raindrops are for tasting. Raincoats can wait.

The morning rush. "Hurry!"

The train is on the platform. "Hurry!"

Almost boarded.

"Wait." There is urgency in that wait. A larger font size. Before the train takes them away.

And. Mom. Waits! Finally.

Mother and son facing the same direction.

A double rainbow spanning the city.

There is magic after all. In life.

In the story. In the telling of it. Perfect pacing and page turns.

Minimalist master Antoinette Portis has done it again.

Title: Wait

Author: Antoinette Portis

Illustrator: Antoinette Portis

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Hardback: 32 pages

ISBN: 978-1-59643-921-4