Thursday, December 19, 2013

REVIEW: Wait! Wait! by Hatsue Nakawaki and Komako Sakai (Illustrator)

Rating: 5/5 Stars
Genre: Picture Book
Audience: Pre-Kindergarten

Summary: A toddler explores the outside world, chasing after a variety of creatures only to have them escape. Eventually the child is scooped up by dad for the trip home from the park.

First Lines: "Wait! Wait!"

Tracy's Thoughts: Gentle, minimalistic text and delicate acrylic and oil pencil illustrations beautifully capture a child's sense of wonder and growing independence in this quiet picture book originally published in Japan. Simple lines and smudges are used to convey both emotion and movement. The child's facial expressions and movements are perfectly rendered in realistic, subtle detail.Curious children will almost feel the cat slipping from their grasps and will fully relate to the child's startled awe when the pigeons take flight and flap away.

The book's palette is mostly neutrals, with small splashes of color to emphasize flushed cheeks and background details. But the focus throughout is on the toddler, who is at the center of a series of two-page spreads. Dressed in a black and white ensemble of overalls, shirt, and chunky shoes, the child could be either a boy or a girl, adding to the universality of her actions. This is a tender and lovely work which perfectly illustrates a child's curiosity and early interaction with the natural world.

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