“This reminder to enjoy life is masterfully executed and utterly enjoyable to read and reread.”
From his first moments of awakening, one busy boy (with dog in tow) rushes at a frantic pace to get ready, get out the door, catch the bus, do his school work, and hurry home again. The stress induced by this pace (and the prevalent but untrue notion that busyness is akin to success—”hurry if you want to win”) is front and center as children scurry around to the increasingly abrasive call of “Hurry. Hurry. Hurry.” A world of gray horizons (with color in only the boy’s immediate surroundings) blossoms into one of full color as the boy hearkens to the call to “STOP,” slow down, breathe, explore, marvel and “Look around, for goodness’ sake.” The readers’ experience mimics that of the boy’s and one may find oneself taking a deep breath and enjoying the little details as the pace changes with a subtle reminder that life (and particularly childhood) is meant to be experienced, not rushed. This mindful and intentional read feels authentic rather than contrived or preachy—in part aided by its use of illustrations to tell a story—and is a welcome reminder to stop and smell the roses.
A busy boy and his dog learn to slow down and enjoy life together in this lyrical, rhyming picture book perfect for hurried families everywhere.
For one busy boy, life is all hurry up, hurry down, hurry round and round and round! That is until he takes a big breath…and a big break…and slows down to see all the wonderful things in the world around him.
From celebrated picture book creators Kate Dopirak and Christopher Silas Neal, this playful yet powerful picture book reminds us to be present, to be mindful, and to appreciate each moment.
An excellent reminder to take a breathe, enjoy our surroundings and breathe, especially for children whose schedules are becoming increasingly full in their (parents’) efforts to excel.
With short lines of poetry and a quick cadence that remind me of a Dr. Seuss poem, this book really struck a chord with our family, where we’ve been doing so much “hurry, hurry, hurry” that my child recently commented about it and said, “I don’t want to always be hurrying.”
The illustrations are really fun, with the child’s scribbled hair and the simplified depiction of settings. I wish that the transition from “hurry” to “easy does it” was explored a little more—it’s hard to change mindsets and habits that have us hurrying through life. Also, I thought that by the end of the book the pendulum swung a little too far—the book ends by promising “lazy days ahead.” I would have preferred it stick with simply encouraging a measured, unhurried approach to our days.
Overall though I really liked the book and it’s relevance to our circumstances.
Christopher Silas Neal is an award-winning author and illustrator of picture books including Over and Under the Snow with author Kate Messner, which was praised for its “stunning retro-style illustrations” (New York Times) along with Over and Under The Pond and Up In the Garden and Down in The Dirt. Neal’s author debut titled “Everyone” was praised by Publisher’s Weekly as “simple, honest, lyrical”. His board book series (Animals Colors, Animal Shapes) received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus. He creates book jackets, art for magazines and posters. He speaks about his books, the art making process, and his career at schools, conferences, libraries and book festivals across the country. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
For Joey and Bobby, my inspiration
For Jasper and River: don’t forget to slow down every now and then