Marc Sutherland Waiting Place

ISBN 13: 9780810939943

Waiting Place

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9780810939943: Waiting Place
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Filled with whimsical and fanciful charcoal illustrations, a delightful story describes a little boy who cannot sleep because his imagination introduces him to all the unexplored places and things he can do, from marching in a parade for the Queen to visiting the Yeti in the mountains. 50,000 first printing.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Sutherland owes a debt to Van Allsburg in his first book, a fanciful dream sequence in black-and-white charcoal pictures. The artist's perspective places readers in the middle of the tale's initially stark setting: the room of a child who cannot sleep. The unchanging vantage point, from the youngster's bed, keeps the footboard in view at the bottom edge of each illustration. Also unchanging is the singsong rhythm of the verse ("Sometimes I just can't sleep./ Maybe it's because my toes itch,/ And the rickety floorboards creak,/ While along in the bath the faucet drips,/ And the rusty old bedsprings squeak"). What varies from spread to spread are the visitors to the chamber, who appear as the child muses on all that he or she will do "tomorrow." Among the visitors summoned are the jungle animals who will "sing me lazy lullabies," a chess-playing Gryphon, Vikings in a longboat and marching beefeaters. While Sutherland demonstrates his abilities as a skilled draftsman, the perspective makes the characters seem all the more imposing and may even frighten younger children. The imagined settings, from an underwater seascape filled with fish and classical art treasures to a star-filled vista with a diminutive astronaut and a crescent moon with human facial features, will hold interest for some adults, but the illustrations more often evoke claustrophobia than the playfulness of a child's imagination. All ages.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal:

PreSchool-Grade 3-Passing the time until dawn, a wide-awake protagonist imagines the morning's possibilities in this fantasy told in rhyme. In each illustration, the perspective remains fixed: readers view the three walls and ceiling of a bedroom from the foot of an occupied bed while the room becomes a stage for an oversized pumpkin, a chess-playing gryphon, marching soldiers, laughing Vikings, and other strange and wondrous creatures entering via the open window. A dash of Van Allsburg and a hint of Gerrard can be detected in the charcoal drawings inhabited by stocky, dream figures with large heads. While some of the scenes suffer a bit from lack of contrast and definition, and a few are overly arranged, the majority are fresh and tantalizing, with a pleasing visual rhythm complemented by the songlike text. Sutherland effectively captures the active mind at bedtime, the promise of tomorrow, and the joy that greets a snowstorm and school closing, so that "All the places I hoped for are waiting,/Just waiting out there for me." Some children will find the darkness of the medium and the surreal aspects menacing, but others will be intrigued. An alternative to counting sheep.
Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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