Hurry Up!: A Book About Slowing Down (Kate Dopirak)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Hurry Up!: A Book About Slowing Down, written by Kate Dopirak and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal, a story of taking one’s time once in a while.

A boy wakes at the ringing of his alarm clock, and rushes down the stairs to school. He runs for the bus, scurries inside the building with his classmates, rushes from lesson to lesson, then home, where he hurries to complete his homework. At last, his dog tugs him outside for a walk, and as the two hurry to crest a hill… they stop. They breathe. They take in the sunshine and green grass around them. They pause for a game of fetch and an eye-level examination of daisies and insects. They explore a quiet stream, enjoy a summer shower, then meander along the path of a rainbow. At last, the two make their way home, enjoying the fireflies, and cozying into bed for a restful night – before the hurries begin again.

Marvelous! Broken into two distinct sections – fast and slow – each half of the book matches its intended pace well. In both art and text, the reader feels the rush and madness of the initial scenes, and bookworms young and old will understand the feeling of being pushed and pulled through a busy day. This setup pays off spectacularly as the story reaches the second half; the new leisurely pace and softer, simpler visuals feel like a breath of fresh air. It’s a wonderful example of how tone and mood can enhance a narrative, and help the main message – that it’s important to take time to relax, refresh, and appreciate the simpler things – to sink in. Neal’s art matches each pace perfectly, and his joyful, then quiet, scenes of the boy’s play are irresistibly charming. The length was perfect, and JJ loved it; this would be a fantastic title to wind down any little reader after a busy day. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the author in exchange for an honest review.)

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