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Amber Waiting (Northern Lights Books for Children) Hardcover – October 7, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-Amber loves kindergarten-the swings, painting, and learning to tie her shoes. The author does a superb job of capturing the joy of a young child in these simple pleasures and accomplishments, so the contrast with the bad thing about school-waiting for Dad, who is always late-is therefore that much more effective. As usual, Amber is "right ready to go," but her father does not appear. As time passes, she imagines what it would be like if their roles were reversed, and pictures leaving him on the Moon, with the promise to "be back in no time." While her dad waits, Amber flies through the universe, showing off her many achievements and thereby reminding all the late fathers that they have children waiting. The book is an empathetic story for youngsters who are faced with adults who are cavalier about pick-up times and leave their children feeling diminished and scared. Gregory avoids reducing this effort to a message book, however, by telling the story through Amber's eyes with honest, simple expression. Denton's gentle watercolors artfully convey the girl's sense of desolation as well as her flight of fancy. A solid purchase.
Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* PreS-Gr.1. Amber finds her morning in kindergarten full of good things: soaring on the playground swings, helping to paint a mural, listening to picture books, learning to tie her shoes. The bad part starts at noon, when she sits outside the office waiting for her dad. And waiting. And waiting. She fantasizes about taking Dad to the moon and leaving him there while she swings and paints, sings and skates, teaching him a lesson about the importance of picking her up on time. When Dad arrives an hour late, the secretary chides him mildly, but he "smiles his famous smile." Unwilling to be won over so easily, Amber tactfully lets him know that she was scared and lonely. Dad drops the bravado long enough to acknowledge, almost wordlessly, her pain. Their exchange is beautifully related in both words and pictures, and children will find its emotional truth enormously satisfying. So many picture books attempt to teach something important to young children; here the message, dramatic rather than didactic in presentation, is aimed at parents. Denton's artwork deftly expresses Amber's happiness, her anger, her loneliness, and her willingness for reconciliation. The charming paintings in the first section of the book give way to painted-and-cut-paper collages with darker tones and more abstract elements in the fantasy sections. A subtle, sensitive picture book that children will long remember. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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