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Waiting
Cover of Waiting
Waiting
Borrow

Caldecott Honor and Geisel Honor Book

What are you waiting for? An owl, a puppy, a bear, a rabbit, and a pig—all toys arranged on a child's windowsill—wait for marvelous things to happen in this irresistible picture book by the New York Times–bestselling and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes.

Five friends sit happily on a windowsill, waiting for something amazing to happen. The owl is waiting for the moon. The pig is waiting for the rain. The bear is waiting for the wind. The puppy is waiting for the snow. And the rabbit is just looking out the window because he likes to wait! What will happen? Will patience win in the end? Or someday will the friends stop waiting and do something unexpected?

Waiting is a big part of childhood—waiting in line, waiting to grow up, waiting for something special to happen—but in this book, a child sets the stage and pulls the strings. Timeless, beautiful, and deeply heartfelt, this picture book about imaginative play, the seasons, friendship, and surprises marks a new pinnacle in Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes's extraordinary career.

"The short sentences of the text flow with the precision one would expect from a master picture-book creator like Henkes. Little ones, to whom each experience is new, will know what it's like to dream and wait."—ALA Booklist

Caldecott Honor and Geisel Honor Book

What are you waiting for? An owl, a puppy, a bear, a rabbit, and a pig—all toys arranged on a child's windowsill—wait for marvelous things to happen in this irresistible picture book by the New York Times–bestselling and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes.

Five friends sit happily on a windowsill, waiting for something amazing to happen. The owl is waiting for the moon. The pig is waiting for the rain. The bear is waiting for the wind. The puppy is waiting for the snow. And the rabbit is just looking out the window because he likes to wait! What will happen? Will patience win in the end? Or someday will the friends stop waiting and do something unexpected?

Waiting is a big part of childhood—waiting in line, waiting to grow up, waiting for something special to happen—but in this book, a child sets the stage and pulls the strings. Timeless, beautiful, and deeply heartfelt, this picture book about imaginative play, the seasons, friendship, and surprises marks a new pinnacle in Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes's extraordinary career.

"The short sentences of the text flow with the precision one would expect from a master picture-book creator like Henkes. Little ones, to whom each experience is new, will know what it's like to dream and wait."—ALA Booklist

Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    1.9
  • Lexile:
    440
  • Interest Level:
    LG
  • Text Difficulty:
    K - 2

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Kevin Henkes is an award-winning author and illustrator of many books for children of all ages. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon; Caldecott Honors for Waiting and Owen; two Newbery Honors—one for Olive's Ocean and one for The Year of Billy Miller—and Geisel Honors for Waiting and Penny and Her Marble. His other books include Egg, Old Bear, A Good Day, Chrysanthemum, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. Kevin Henkes lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin. www.kevinhenkes.com

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 8, 2015
    Waiting can make anyone feel helpless and frustrated, so the five toylike knickknacks in Henkes’s (Penny and Her Marble) story should be at their collective wits’ end. Perched on a windowsill, this odd, diminutive crew—a pig with an umbrella,
    a bear with a kite, a puppy attached to a sled, a rabbit on an accordion spring, and an owl—have little volition of their own (“Sometimes one or the other of them went away, but he or she always came back”). But while their lives are spent waiting, their existence seems full and rich with meaning. Waiting reinforces their sense
    of identity: the pig waits for the rain and when it comes, “the pig was happy. The umbrella kept her dry.” Waiting also
    connects them to each other: looking out the window together, “they saw many wonderful, interesting things,” like frost on the windowpane or a sky lit up with fireworks. Henkes never tells readers explicitly what he’s up to, and several incidents are wide open to interpretation—and that’s what makes this enigmatic, lovely book intriguing and inimitable. Ages 4–8.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from June 1, 2015
    Five toys ranged on a windowsill exemplify existential pleasure. In the mode of such pastel-hued, minimalist delights as A Good Day (2007), Henkes presents a pig with an umbrella, a bear with a kite, a puppy on a sled, an owl with spots, and a rabbit with stars (this last is depicted as a spring-loaded rabbit head, rather like the innards of a jack-in-the-box). Respectively, the first four wait for the rain, the wind, the snow, and the moon; the rabbit just likes waiting. Henkes keeps readers gently off-balance as to the nature of these toys' sentience. Sometimes, as when comically on their backs "sleeping," they seem stiff and immobile; other times, as when they huddle together during a thunderstorm, eyes wide and frightened, their bodies exude warmth and softness. Images are snapshots of single moments, and never is a child depicted; it is left to readers to decide whether the toys move on their own or have been posed by a hand outside the frame. The story is all about quietly filling in the gaps; though little appears to happen beyond the changing of seasons and arrival (and in one case, tragic departure) of other toys, the protagonists' contentment with just waiting is contagious. Waiting as a joyful activity in itself is almost never celebrated; this Zen-like meditation might win some converts. (Picture book. 3-6)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from June 1, 2015

    PreS-K-Five toys sit on a windowsill, each waiting for something. There's an owl with spots waiting for the moon, a pig with the umbrella waiting for the rain, a bear with a kite waiting for the wind, and a puppy on a sled waiting for the snow. And then there's a "rabbit with stars," content to simply look out the window. With an economy of words and gently repeating patterns, the text informs readers about the emotional ups and downs of this tiny band of friends: what makes them happy (getting what they've waited for), what makes them sad (when one of them goes away), and what surprises them (gifts, visitors, new friends.) Along with happiness and friendship, there are small moments of grief, anxiety, and existential wonder-all thoughtfully and authentically depicted with childlike honesty and optimism. On thick, creamy pages, Henkes uses brown ink with touches of watercolor and colored pencil in muted shades of pink, green, and blue to depict the softly rounded figures, shown small before the expanse of the four-paned window. Henkes varies the compositions with vignettes and a four-page wordless sequence showing the beautiful (a rainbow, fireworks) and sometimes scary (lightning) sights that the toys observe from the vantage point of their windowsill. The careful placement of the text and images establishes a leisurely pace, encouraging readers and listeners to slow down, examine the pictures, and discuss. Are these sentient little beings or are they moved and posed by an unseen child? Henkes leaves it up to readers to determine. VERDICT Waiting further cements Henkes's place alongside picture book legends like Margaret Wise Brown, Crockett Johnson, and Ruth Krauss, through his lyrical text, uncluttered yet wondrously expressive illustrations, and utmost respect for the emotional life of young children.-Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from May 15, 2015
    Preschool-K *Starred Review* A pig with an umbrella, a spotted owl, a puppy on a sled, a bear holding a kite, and a rabbit with a long accordion body. These five little toys look out a tall window at nothing much, waiting. Pig waits for rain; Owl, the moon; Bear, the wind; Puppy, the snow; and Rabbit just waits. One day they are joined by a round wobble of a cat. She tumbles over and out come nested cats of decreasing size, who join the friends on the windowsill to wait and watch. Quiet yet evocative, this is a lovely melding of artwork, design, and text. The pictures, executed in a soft palette of brown ink, watercolors, and colored pencils, get a suitable home on buff-colored pages. The thoughtful design begins on the jacket, where the window, its panes accentuated by a shiny gloss, allows the toys to view clouds reflecting altered views of their own images: Pig's umbrella floats through the sky, while the staid owl soars with wings spread. The short sentences of the text flow with the precision one would expect from a master picture-book creator like Henkes. Little ones, to whom each experience is new, will know what it's like to dream and wait. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Caldecott medalist and Newbery Honor Book author Henkes is a favorite among librarians and booksellers (and, of course, children). Any new book will spark demand from his fans.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

  • School Library Journal (starred review) "Waiting further cements Henkes's place alongside picture book legends like Margaret Wise Brown, Crockett Johnson, and Ruth Krauss, through his lyrical text, uncluttered yet wondrously expressive illustrations, and utmost respect for the emotional life of young children."
  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "The story is all about quietly filling in the gaps...the protagonists' contentment with just waiting is contagious. Waiting as a joyful activity in itself is almost never celebrated; this Zen-like meditation might win some converts."
  • Horn Book (starred review) "Henkes provides no deep meanings and sends no messages; he's just showing what waiting can be like. Perhaps listeners will find a model for making long waits seem less tiresome: be still and notice the world around you."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Enigmatic, lovely . . . intriguing and inimitable."
  • Booklist (starred review) "Quiet yet evocative, this is a lovely melding of artwork, design, and text... Little ones, to whom each experience is new, will know what it's like to dream and wait."
  • New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice "Kevin Henkes, who both illustrates and writes with a gentle and elegant style, creates an appealing cast of toys to get at the concept of waiting-a tough one to convey to a child. ...Calming in a way that emphasizes the theme of patience."
  • Wall Street Journal "In his illustrations, Mr. Henkes uses soft nursery shades of pink, greenish-blue and chocolate brown on a creamy background to convey a feeling of such safety and contentment as to beguile even the most irritable adult tooth-gnasher."
  • San Francisco Chronicle "With economy, humor and warmth, Waiting quietly bridges reality and imagination, indoors and out, constancy and change, now and what comes next."
  • Boston Globe "Kevin Henkes is the stealthiest master of kids' lit around."
  • Shelf Awareness "Waiting is a microcosm: five sentient toys on a windowsill. The picture book is visual elegant and nostalgic...The design, illustrations, and text of Waiting are exquisitely choreographed, each decision made with great care. ...They are waiting, just waiting. And something's bound to happen."
  • Washington Post "Henkes...understands the frustration young children feel in having to be patient. The gentle pacing of the story and generously spacious, light-filled illustrations convey a sense of calm anticipation. There's plenty of room here for a parent and child to talk about the wonders that the window offers."
  • Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books "The soft tones and clean compositions of the attractive pictures...complement the simple text...Use this to bring a little peace and tranquility to a busy day or to an active storytime audience."
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  • Publisher
    HarperCollins
  • OverDrive Read
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