by Antoinette Portis
I remember being a young girl, in the summer time, and being bored out of my mind! There was nothing to do. A bike ride around the block wouldn't do when I knew I could ride farther. But without an adult with me, I was "stuck" in the confines of my home. And then I specifically remember my mom telling me to enjoy this time because one day, I would want to be bored. At the time, it was something I couldn't fathom. Why would I want to be bored?
This memory somehow got stuck in my long term memory. Why? What was so memorable about it? I'm not sure, but I do know my mom was correct. Boredom is a luxury that most adults don't have. To be able to slow down and appreciate the small details going on around us is something I know I rarely find the time to do. Often I remind myself to slow down and take the time to do something special with my child because at some point, she won't be bored, nor will she want to spend her "being bored" time with me. So often my mantra is go faster, get more done, hurry hurry hurry.
In a very simply told picture book, we see this very scene come to life. In Wait, a young boy is on his way with him mom in the city rushing to a destination. In each scene, we see the young boy delight in some small detail and want to slow down and experience it. But the mom is always in a hurry to get to the next place and constantly tells her young child to "hurry". But it's at the end that the young boy shows his point to "wait", because that's when you get to see the beauty of life.
What an important book for everyone. Young readers will delight at the boy's finds on each page. They will understand that need to slow down and have fun where you're at. Adult readers will appreciate the mom's need to get to where she is going and always needing to rush their children along. But maybe that's why they need to read this book. To understand to wait means maybe getting something in return.
This simple book will easily top my Mock Geisel stack this year. Antoinette Portis knows something about that award seeing as her book Not a Box earned a Geisel Honor. I hope as other adults read this book they will not only enjoy sharing it with readers but also appreciate the simplicity of the message and apply it to their own life.