cover image Hurry Up! A Book About Slowing Down

Hurry Up! A Book About Slowing Down

Kate Dopirak, illus. by Christopher Silas Neal. Beach Lane, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5344-2497-5

Kids aren’t exempt from fast-paced living, especially not the brown-skinned child who stars in this prescription for downtime by the late Dopirak (Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Car). Neal (From Tree to Sea) visualizes its opening words with images of the child dashing down the stairs and out to the bus: “Hurry up!/ Hurry down./ Hurry round and round... and round.” At school, the classroom teems with activity (“Hurry here!/ Hurry there!/ Hurry, scurry everywhere!”), and the sprint continues back home, snarled by the family pup tugging at a shoelace. Out for a walk, child and dog continue at the breakneck pace until “STOP!” appears in large letters across the sky, a message from the universe. A page turn reveals a world transformed and on pause. Everything is green as child and pup watch a snail (“Slow things down”), and a tossed stick tumbles lazily end over end before reaching the leaping dog (“Take a break”). A long, luxurious afternoon ends at dusk as the pair head home. Neal’s visual pacing takes readers from frenetic activity to solitary moonlit slumber in one smooth arc, embodying the shift to calm that all creatures crave—and need. Ages up to 8. [em]Author’s agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (May) [/em]