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Water Hole Waiting Hardcover – March 26, 2002

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 280L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; 1st edition (March 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060298502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060298500
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #429,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

reSchool-Grade 3-Richly colored pastel drawings and precise, surprising word choices make this story a natural for sharing with a group. A young vervet monkey, carefully supervised by his mother, waits impatiently for a safe time to drink at a busy water hole as the day passes and other animals of the African savanna come to quench their thirst. The delightful language adds enjoyment: "The silence pokes Monkey's ear"; "Sun lands on the horizon and tucks away its lower half." The beat of the text is palpable, moving from fast to slow and back, sometimes rhyming, sometimes joltingly not. However, as in Lynne Cherry's The Great Kapok Tree (Harcourt, 1990), the plot is secondary to an appreciation of the environment. The realistic illustrations are often from a monkey's-eye view, showing the belly of a running zebra and the gaping mouth of a crocodile. This is a must for studies of African animals or the savanna biome, and a gem for writing teachers.
Ellen Heath, Orchard School, Ridgewood, NJ
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 4-8. The Kurtzes, brother and sister, describe a dawn-to-dusk day at a water hole on an African savannah, citing the activities of the many animals that inhabit the ecosystem. At dawn, as a troop of vervet monkeys forages for food, a youngster attempting to take a drink is stopped by Mama, who notices a herd of hippopotami arriving for a swim. At midday the young monkey tries again, only to be deterred by zebras and a lumbering crocodile. Later, a lion and a giraffe come for drinks, and a family of elephants rumbles down for a splash. Only after dark, when the larger animals have gone, does Mama deem it safe for her baby to quench his thirst. Vivid artwork complements the elegant text, often extending it with additional details: the close-up views of thundering zebra hooves and snapping crocodile jaws are particularly impressive. The story will work well on several levels: young listeners will understand the frustration in having to wait for a cool drink; older children will appreciate the diversity of savannah wildlife. See also Anne Laurel Carter's Under a Prairie Sky (p.1599), which describes Canadian grasslands. Kay Weisman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Jane Kurtz was born in Portland, Oregon, but when she was two years old, her parents decided to move to Ethiopia, where she spent most of her childhood. She didn't live in the United States for more than a couple of year-long visits (in Boise and Pasadena) until she started college, feeling like an awkward outsider. Her books set in Ethiopia have helped her give glimpses into the land of her childhood.

Now Jane speaks about being an author at schools and conferences--in all but eleven of the United States, so far, and such places as Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, France, Germany, Romania, England, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Japan. Her travels have put her in touch with all kinds of kids who are changing the world, one kid at a time, something her idealistic parents made her also want to do. Thus she helped start Ethiopia Reads (www.ethiopiareads.org), a nonprofit that is planting the first libraries for children in Ethiopia.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Heaven knows why water holes are such a never ending source of potential picture book plotting. Yet year after year some of the best children's books out there concentrate on those large bodies of water available to the animals of the savanna. This is the case with Graeme Base's remarkable, "The Water Hole" and Bob Graham's touching, "Tales From the Waterhole". Added to the mix is "Water Hole Waiting" by authorial super duo Jane and Christopher Kurtz. Of the aforementioned books, this is the one you'll want to go to if you actually want some factual information to go along with your watering studies. Adept with a peppy rhyming text and some lovingly wielded pastels, the book's a fine addition to any child's water-hole-centric personal library.

In the hot morning sun a young monkey is parched and longs to slake his thirst at the nearest watery hole. However, his ever alert mama is quick to grab ahold of her restless charge, especially when he's about to run into some dangerous animals. A quick grab to his arms saves him from "Hippo's yawning jaws". A paw to the ear and he's not crushed under, "sharp hooves and quick kicks". Catching ahold of his tale saves him from a lion, "who crouches close and lip-laps water between razor teeth". And so on. By the end of the day our little monkey is warier, but able to drink deeply with his fellow monkeys after all the other animals have had their share.

The Kurtzes include a lovely little author's note at the back of the book detailing their own personal experiences in the bush. They mention that the vervet monkeys (shown in this book) have a different warning call for each potential threat. Also, water holes like the one shown here usually do serve animals that "take turns". The Kurtz even suggest the website [...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 13, 2006
Format: Library Binding
As a homeschooler I've twice taken 2nd grade children through a study of Africa. This book is my favorite. The language consistently uses the richest verbs in a gentle poetry that transports the reader to the site: "Morning slinks onto the savanna and licks up the night shadows..." The illustrations are gorgeous. And the content includes all the relevent animals of the savanna and puts into perspective how they are all living together -- even as some are predators and some are prey. An authors note at the end puts this fictional story into context and explains what is fiction and what is true in the story. I think this book is fantastic for any read-aloud, even if you aren't "studying" Africa. It is a beautiful piece of children's picture book literature.
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By J. Rasmussen on September 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an amazing book for word choice and it is so much fun to read to my daughter! I would recommend it to anyone with kids.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This beautifully illustrated book is outstanding. I shared it with children in grades K-5 at my school and it was enjoyed by all. The language is lyrical, expressive, rhythmic. We savored each page and I was asked to read it again. Jane Kurtz has given us yet another wonderful book.
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