Waiting for Later, by Tina Matthews

‘I know I’m big, but today I feel small,’
said Nancy to no one in particular.
And she slid
from the top of the stairs to the bottom.

Nancy is feeling very little. She’s played by herself and really would quite like someone to do SOMETHING with her. One by one, she asks her family members, but they are all too busy with other things. They always promise that they’ll be able to play with her…later. So Nancy climbs a tree and she entertains herself watching others, looking for bugs and more, while she waits for ‘later’ to arrive. The text is set on the left of each opening for the first part of the book, with Nancy shown in silhouette on the page with text. On the right hand side, images fill the page and are full of life and texture. In the second half of the book, Nancy is shown on the left page, in the tree. On the right page is the text and silhouettes of her family completing whatever it is that they were doing.

Waiting can be tough, particularly when you are feeling alone and small, and in need of company and reassurance. The tree, once Nancy finds it, is welcoming and entertaining. In a way, it provides all the company and games she’d been searching for. And her time in the tree restores her sense of self and Nancy again feels big. All is again right with the world. This is a lovely story about resilience, and self-reliance, in the middle of a loving but busy extended family. Recommended for 4-7 year olds.

Waiting for Later

Waiting for Later, Tina Matthews
Walker Books 2011
ISBN: 9781921720055

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

This book is available from good bookstores or online from Fishpond.