Hurry Up and Wait

Daniel Handler, illus. by Maira Kalman. MoMA (Abrams, dist.), $15.95 (64p) ISBN 978-0-87070-959-3
This follow-up to Girls Standing on Lawns gathers vintage photographs of people moving quickly, moving slowly, and sometimes standing still. Accompanied by Handler’s musings and enlivened by Kalman’s paintings, the first group of mostly b&w snapshots captures smartly dressed city-dwellers striding purposefully toward the camera or hurrying past it. “All childhood long they told me to hurry up, and now all this time later I can’t imagine what the rush was,” Handler reflects. There’s a pause, like an interlude: a page turn shows three awkward girls in bathing suits eating ice cream. “But then sometimes we’re tired of moving and we want to wait for something else,” he continues as the photographed subjects observe, ignore, gaze, snore. A horse-drawn carriage passes in the sunset, throwing long shadows. “Time to go. Everybody says it. Time to go. And then we do,” Handler concludes. The commentary often leans on facile wit (“Somewhere in the world, always, somebody is twenty minutes late for something, and I am annoyed at them”), but Kalman’s rich gouaches delight, and viewers may find themselves unaccountably moved, even haunted, by the images. Ages 10–up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/09/2015
Release date: 04/07/2015
Genre: Children's
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