Review of Wait

portis_waitstar2 Wait
by Antoinette Portis; illus. by the author
Preschool     Porter/Roaring Brook     32 pp.
7/15     978-1-59643-921-4     $16.99

A harried mother rushes her toddler son through the busy city streets, and he resists, stalling to look at everything they encounter. This fundamental tension plays out in a series of spreads illustrating the same refrain. She says  "Hurry!” looking at her watch or checking her phone, and he says “Wait,” stopping to wave at a construction worker, feed a duck, or discover a butterfly in a bush. Soon rain begins to fall, and the rush gets quicker. But just as the doors of their train begin to close, he insists on one last pause. The pair stops to see a brilliant rainbow stretching over the city. “Yes. / Wait.” Portis fills her friendly, accessible images with predictive details. Observant children will notice slickers, umbrellas, and other clues of things to come throughout the pages (is that a rainbow pop he points to on the ice-cream truck?), adding richness to this sweet story about appreciating life’s simple pleasures.

From the July/August 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
Thom Barthelmess
Thom Barthelmess
Thom Barthelmess is Youth Services Manager for the Whatcom County Library System in northwest Washington State.

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