Author/Illustrator: Kevin Henkes
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (September 1, 2015)
Sometimes I'm not so fond of being an adult. On days like that, I can always count on my Purple Book Cart to provide just the book I need in order to love my life again. Kevin Henkes' Waiting is just that - just the book I needed on a day like today.
Waiting is about a group of five friends who are waiting for the things that they love to happen outside their window. The pig with the umbrella loves the rain while the puppy on a sled loves the snow. The bear with a kite wants the wind to blow while the owl is the luckiest of all, because the moon that he's waiting for comes along every night.
I wish I could be more like the rabbit. The rabbit is also waiting patiently, but not waiting for anything in particular. If I was this rabbit I would be wringing my hands, maybe enrolling in more graduate school because this concept of waiting is something that grown-ups are really quite terrible at doing.
My life has been thrown a little off kilter recently with a major international move, and in this book too, not everything is smooth sailing. The visitor who comes from far away falls off the shelf and is broken into pieces. The rabbit peers over at the visitor with a tear in his eye. But there is nothing to be done. More waiting is the only option. Outside the window, some wonderful and things happen, all illustrated in Henkes' soft pastel style. It's such a beautiful book and the passage of time is illustrated so gently that it is impossible to stay sad for long. It will most likely mean something different to every child (and unwitting grown-up) who reads it.
Children (and sometimes grown ups) can feel as though like the toys in this window, they are powerless to do anything but wait. As we grow up we are told we have to follow our dreams - we have to get things decided so we can leap along the path to success. Nobody ever thinks about the wisdom of waiting, and that things will sort them out if you give them time. Thank you Kevin Henkes for making the world a softer and kinder place with this book.
An Australian who lived in Japan with my bicultural family now living in the USA, I believe that there are more different realities than there are books to be written.