In this Little Kids’ Book Club post #9 we are taking a break from stories that focus on doing, and we turn to thinking. Teaching our children to be patient and reflective is difficult in this iWorld. "Waiting" is the perfect place to start.
"Waiting", written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes, is about 5 toys quietly sitting on a windowsill just……. waiting.
Surprisingly they’re not waiting for someone to come and play with them. Instead the 5 figurines wait for the changing seasons. They wait for one another to come and go, observing the unexpected. “One day a cat with patches joins them….she didn’t seem to be waiting for anything in particular.” When the cat with patches, a nesting doll, unpacks 4 smaller cats, they are all surprised and happy. Now 10 toys line up on the windowsill and wait together.
Invite your first or second grader to read this calming book aloud to younger siblings. The sentences are short and simple yet there’s enough left to the imagination to entice the emerging reader
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Read and Explore
Questions to ask your children...NOT all in one sitting. Kids love to hear the same book over and over. Ask just a couple of ?s from the list each time you read "Waiting."
- What do all the friends in the windowsill have in common? (They’re all animals and toys)
- Why is the owl waiting for the moon? (Owls are “nocturnal”, or active at night when the moon can be seen.)
- What is another word for wind, or movement of air? ( Breeze. The bear’s kite will fly if there is wind or a steady breeze.)
- The puppy is waiting for snow. Where do you think the puppy lives? (Open ended. Someplace cold like Minnesota vs. warm like Texas)
- If you were one of the toys on the windowsill, which one would you be? Why?
- “Sometimes one or the other of them went away, but he or she always came back” Where do you think they went and for how long? (Open ended. Perhaps a child in the house played with them.)
- Why did the visitor “from far away” leave and never return? (The elephant fell off the shelf and broke.)
- They see many wonderful and interesting things. After we read this book pick out something wonderful and interesting that YOU see out the window.
- Which season do you think it is when the cat with patches joins them? (CLUE…There is a butterfly and flowers outside; spring or summer.)
- On the last page, how many tails do you see? Count them with your finger.
- Kevin Henkes brings his family together at breakfast reading novels out loud to his wife and children. At last count they were up to 120 books.
- Kevin Henkes said, “I grew up wanting to be an artist”
- Kevin Henkes was a junior in high school when he decided specifically to become a children’s book writer and illustrator. As a rising sophomore in college he flew to NYC from Wisconsin with a portfolio of ideas and sold his first title.
- Kevin Henkes has received many honors for his books including the Caldecott Medal and the Newbery Medal.
The Marshmallow Test looks at a child’s ability to delay gratification or WAIT, for a preferred reward. Watch and laugh!
- Nesting dolls similar to the “cat with patches”, date back to China in 1000AD, yet are most often associated with Russian nesting dolls. Send away for blanks and paint your own.
If your little one is struggling to learn the ABCs or had trouble reading by the end of first grade, be sure to get our list of 5 RED FLAGS pointing to Dyslexia.
Caryl Frankenberger & Julie E. Janson
In the Little Kids' Book Club #3 we reviewed "Going Lobstering" and interviewed the author Jerry Pallotta. He shared an inside story about how he and Rob Bolster chose the colors for the different lobster bouy illustrations. We recently found yet another creative way to use a lobster bouy. Don't forget to email us your children's ideas too!