Author: Antoinette Portis
Illustrator: Antoinette Portis
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Publication Date: 2015
Audience: 4-7 years old
Summary: The mother looks at her watch; her young son looks at a dog that needs to be petted. The mother is in a hurry; her son is awake to the world around him that invites him to wait to see workers and a cement truck, ducks being fed in the park, an ice cream stand, a fish tank in a pet store, a butterfly on a flower. The fall of raindrops gives urgency to the command, “Hurry.” But raindrops need to be tasted so the boy sticks out his tongue. Finally, “Wait” becomes as urgent as “Hurry.” A double rainbow is in the sky.
Literary elements at work in the story: Only two words tell this story: wait and hurry. They convey perfectly the child and adult perspective on a walk down the street to catch a train, a world full of wonder and a deadline. With strong black outlines and digital coloring, the pictures show the opposing pulls: wait and see or hurry and catch the train. The mother and child gazing at a double rainbow on the last page is a satisfying conclusion.
How does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story? Not applicable.
Theological Conversation Partners: Wait is a biblical word, (Check a concordance) but it’s not a passive word. The young child in this story means by “wait”, engagement, being present to his surroundings, taking time. Hurry is not a biblical word, though there are certainly deadlines: the harvest is ripe, the Day of the Lord arrives, time will run out. This book captures the tension between adults with schedules and responsibilities and children who recognize the moment’s opportunities, between busy Christians and the need to wait and look. Jesus must have responded to these opportunities as he saw farmer’s sowing, shepherd’s searching for sheep, a widow putting money in the treasury, fishermen pulling in fish. He told his disciples to look at the birds and the flowers. The world around us is where God speaks to us and it is important to cultivate this “paying attention” as we live each day. It’s also important to accept responsibilities, keep schedules, keep promises. How do we balance these two demands?
Faith Talk Questions:
- Why is the mother in a hurry? Will she miss something important if she doesn’t hurry?
- Why does the child want to wait? What are some of the things he will miss if he doesn’t wait?
- There’s a small bug (ladybug)) on the frontispiece of the book. Where do you see it again?
- What made the mother wait and look?
- Has a parent ever told you to hurry? What were you doing? Why did you need to hurry?
- Waiting has several meanings? What are some of them?
- When the Bible tells us to “wait on the Lord” (Ps. 27:14 ) what does it mean?
Thanks to Virginia Thomas, Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna and regular contributor, for this book review.
Wait by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.