Kevin Henke’s Caldecott Honor and Geisel Honor Book ‘Waiting’ is a beautiful book that captures the many shades of waiting and the many waits of the characters in the book. Minimalistic pictures and Haiku-like words will hold different meanings for readers of different ages. Five figurines wait on a windowsill.
They wait together but for very different things.
And all their waits are rewarded…
Each in their own way…
Sometimes new visitors come and go. Every day, they wait for the magic of the day to unfold. The waiting almost always brings forth a surprise or an outcome of some kind. A nested feline doll makes its appearance on the sill and she seems to be waiting and not waiting. At the end of the wait, the five original ‘waiters’ on the sill are delighted to meet some new friends, with new waiting(s).
At the end of the book, you will feel these characters wait with you and in your waits, you will remember them. This is exactly what Henkes seeks to achieve in his books. In an interview with npr.org, he spoke about hoping his books give children a sense of home.
I think books can do lots of things. I think books can open one’s eyes to what else is in the world, but it’s also nice if one can see oneself. I think as a boy I liked both kinds of books — I liked books that let me see that the world was wide and large but I also loved books where a character might have the same feeling that I had about something — that makes one feel like one is not alone in the world.
And I guess that is sort of a sense of home — that we are at home with one another, and to read a book and to have a deep feeling that someone else — the person who made this book — feels what I feel, can be a great comfort I think.
So what are you waiting for? Get your hands on a copy here.
Image credits: Harper Collins publications