When You Have to Wait (Hardcover)

When You Have to Wait By Melanie Conklin, Leah Hong (Illustrator) Cover Image

When You Have to Wait (Hardcover)

By Melanie Conklin, Leah Hong (Illustrator)


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A mindful, gentle picture book about patience and learning to find beauty in the act of waiting.

Sometimes, you have to wait.

For the line at the public pool on a hot summer day.
For mom to come home after being away.

For your legs to grow just a bit longer to ride a new big kid bike.

The seconds drag on... each one feels like forever. Why can’t you have it now?

But while you wait, you might notice things: a possible new friend who is also in line, why homecoming hugs are extra special, and how beautiful the world is when you’re not racing by.

Sometimes, when you have to wait, you find the good in the moments between now and later.

Melanie Conklin grew up in North Carolina and worked as a product designer before she began her writing career. Her debut middle grade novel, Counting Thyme, is a Bank Street Best Children’s Book, winner of the International Literacy Association Teacher’s Choice Award, and nominated to four state reading lists. She is also the author of Every Missing Piece, A Perfect Mistake, Crushed (2024), and her picture book debut, When You Have to Wait (2023). When she’s not writing, Melanie spends her time doodling and dreaming up new ways to be creative. She lives in New Jersey with her family.

Leah Hong spent many of her childhood hours drawing stories, but it wasn’t until she had children of her own that she became re-immersed in the world of picture books, and fell in love with them all over again. An art school graduate with a visual arts degree in painting, Leah has worked both as an illustrator and a graphic designer. Her lifelong love of making art and storytelling led her to create her picture book debut, Happy Dreams, Little Bunny. She lives with her family in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Product Details ISBN: 9781250816542
ISBN-10: 1250816548
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: January 9th, 2024
Pages: 40
Language: English

★"In a world fixated on instant gratification, Conklin and Hong make a persuasive case for the sense of joy and connection that can be found when we slow down. A relatable and beautifully rendered tale about the value of patience." —Kirkus, starred review

"Conklin and Hong compassionately limn experiences of childhood longing in an emotionally honest picture book about one of life’s truths: Sometimes, you have to wait.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"This peaceful picture book is a kind reminder that it is okay to slow down and find beautiful ways to pass the time as you wait." —BCCB