With all that going on, it seems more evident than ever that there are just not enough hours in the day sometimes. And of course, there's a picture book for that! Today I'm sharing a title that we've recently been reading and enjoying, mostly because it seems to personify everyday events at our house. Kate and Nate Are Running Late by Kate Egan not only has a catchy title and fantastic illustrations -- by Dan Yaccarino, a perennial favorite of ours -- but it's also a pretty great look at life in our busy modern times.
Nate wakes his mom, Kate, up and the action begins. Everyone has overslept, AGAIN! So they must hit the ground running, and they do. While Mom herds Nate around getting him ready and making breakfast, lunches, etc., big sister Maddie's working on her get-ready list. Then both kiddos throw their stuff together while Mom takes a quick shower and hustles through her morning routine. It seems like things are going okay, but then disruptions come up, as they always do: the cats get out! Nate left something behind! But the family manages to scoot into the car and pull into the schoolyard just on time for everyone to get a big surprise.
I'm not going to spoil the fun by telling you what the surprise is, but suffice to say it's not the kind of news that would make your morning rush any better. Sprout quite likes the jokey ending of this one, and he's often asked me to read it again just so he can snicker through the story, knowing what's coming. Yaccarino's illustrations are a delightful companion to debut author Egan's rhyming text. Though the rhyme scheme's a bit uneven, it's still charming, and the frantic activity of the family's get-ready-rush comes through in both word and image. Maddie is pretty much serene and calm throughout, while Nate and his mom are the ones running around like chickens. There's a spread at the beginning that I just love -- Kate snatches Nate by the hand, trailing him in midair as she darts off to begin the morning frenzy. Can you relate? I'm usually the one scooting out the door first in our house, but it's a process of negotiating hugs, kisses, multiple goodbyes and a complicated door-opening schema that leaves me as breathless as Kate is at the very end.
It's a safe bet that most families will see themselves paralleled in the shenanigans in this home, whether you're running late for work or some other activity. And next time you're scrambling to get out the door, take a moment to stop and breathe, lest Kate and Nate's surprise be yours as well.
Kate and Nate Are Running Late by Kate Egan, published by Macmillan Children's
Sample: " 'It's getting late,' announces Nate. / Kate rolls over, rubs her eyes. / She sits up straight. 'Oh that's just great. / Not again!' Nate's mother sighs."
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