Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Review: The Waiting Song by Natasha Barber

Nigel is a hedgehog. He's four years old, likes trains, cookies, and is a lot like other kids in class. Nigel is a little different too. Nigel is autistic. He doesn’t talk or say many words. Nigel is not very good at taking turns, or being polite and he really does not like to wait. Nigel thought and thought and came up with the Waiting Song… Now he is able to be polite and wait when he sings his Waiting Song! The Waiting Song is for kids like Nigel.
My son gets impatient sometimes, and while it's not that hard to reason with him and calm him down when he gets upset, I loved the idea of a Waiting Song he could sing on his own to help him wait patiently.

I liked the concept of the book. A lot of children do have moments of impatience and it's not always easy to teach them how to wait. Also, there aren't a lot of children's books with autistic main characters. I know a couple of autistic children who I think would love Nigel and enjoy the Waiting Song. If you're interested, you can hear the Waiting Song in the book trailer here.

The illustrations were just okay for me. I'm not sure if it was the coloring or the illustration style that didn't completely work for me, but that doesn't mean that it wouldn't work for you.

I read this with my son, and while most of the pages only included short sentences, by the end of the book, I was feeling a little bit tired and my mouth felt kind of dry. I think it might have been the page near the middle that had two paragraphs, one of which was a little longer than the others in the book, that contributed the most to that feeling.

My son liked the Waiting Song. He hasn't learned to sight-read "wait" yet, but he did sort of start to get it thanks to the lyrics of the song.

He enjoyed the start of the book. This was the first time he's seen a hedgehog, which aren't common in our country, so I searched for a picture of hedgehogs and showed it to him. It was a nice learning moment.

After the first instance wherein Nigel tried to take another child's toy, my son insisted we re-enact it. He didn't say "Mine!" though, he just pouted a little.

My son got a little restless about halfway through the book. He's just starting to learn to read, so I think some of the lengthier paragraphs may have intimidated him a bit. Some beginner and early readers may get restless too, so you may want to consider reading the book in sections or making your reading session more interactive.

Nigel thought and thought. "I know!" Nigel shouted. "When I have to wait, I can sing a song." 


Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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