Children are not known for their patience; nor are most of us adults, if we’re honest. So in a ridiculously hurried, harried world, with its corresponding societal sentiment of instant gratification, Kevin Henkes’ new book, Waiting, couldn’t be more of a poignant lesson for little ones — and their grownups, too.
A collection of toys sits upon the windowsill, each plaything idling away the time in anticipation of something (a different ‘something’ for each). By the end of the story, everyone gets what they’ve been waiting for; but in the interim, there’s no tears, no impatient huffs, no foot stomping, no watch-checking, and no miserable, moany descents into boredom: the characters are simply content to sit and….wait – a virtue more historical artefact of an age gone by than one we readily recognise in today’s culture of on-demand everything.
The book itself is laid out with the intention to slow down the storytelling process and encourage the readers to stop and enjoy the individual moments that gradually unfold. The illustrations are minimalist and beautiful, the palette soft and the words few – some pages have no text at all, a restful pause between prose.
The slow-paced narrative is not a style of storybook we’re used to reading to our tots; that being said, kids and parents alike are not well-versed in the fine art of waiting, either.
It’s not a bad idea to try both.
Buy the book HERE.