September’s Book Pick is WAITING, by the legendary Kevin Henkes. He’s previously won a Caldecott Medal, two Newbery Honors, and a Geisel Honor, and WAITING has brought new Caldecott and Geisel Honors. Also not to be overlooked is his supremely popular and beloved Lily (Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse), plus other mice characters which include Owen, Chrysanthemum, and Wemberly, each featured in their own charming picture books. But back to this story . . . .
Five animal toys wait on a window ledge. Mostly, they wait for different things, but one of them (a rabbit with stars) isn’t waiting for anything in particular. He just likes to look out the window and wait. Toys come and go, seasons come and go. Wind, rain, snow, fireworks, and the moon come and go. And still the animals wait on the ledge. One day a cat with patches joins them. What, if anything, is she waiting for?
There’s so much character development here, and so much emotion expressed on these pages. If you have ever wanted to write—and publish—a quiet picture book, WAITING is one you must look at. Read it aloud. Marvel at the uncomplicated yet expressive text and illustrations, the uncluttered page design, the muted color, the incredible production value of this book. Look under the dust jacket and you will find a little surprise on the board covers. The end papers pick up the color of the type. It’s perfect.
Have you read WAITING? What do you think?