Skip to Main Content

Waiting for the Magic

Illustrated by Amy June Bates
LIST PRICE $19.99

People may drift apart
But love can hold them together.
Sometimes we find that love through magic –
Sometimes that magic is all around us.

This is a story about all of these things.

But it's also a story about how
four dogs
and one cat
help one boy
and his sister
save their family.

Photograph by John MacLachlan

Patricia MacLachlan is the author of many well-loved novels and picture books, including Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal; its sequels, Skylark and Caleb’s StoryEdward’s EyesThe True GiftWaiting for the MagicWhite Fur Flying; and Fly Away. She lives in western Massachusetts.

Provided by the author

Amy June Bates has illustrated books including the Sam the Man series; Sweet Dreams and That’s What I’d Do, both by singer-songwriter Jewel; and Waiting for the Magic by Patricia MacLachlan. She is the author-illustrator of The Big Umbrella, which Booklist raved, “A boundlessly inclusive spirit...This open-ended picture book creates a natural springboard for discussion.” She lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, with her husband and three children.

"Newbery Medalist MacLachlan tackles the familiar yet always heart-wrenching subject of parental separation in her venerable spare and moving style.... The characters are individualistic, believable, and likable, and the impulsive acquisition and heartwarming presence of the animals suggest an affecting work of realistic fiction."--Publishers Weekly

"MacLachlan writes with simplicity and limpid clarity, acknowledging strong emotions evoked by the father’s departure and depicting the events that follow with sensitivity and bits of humor."--Booklist

"Newbery Medal-winning author Patricia MacLachlan has written a captivating and charming book with just the right amount of magic, love and family bonding that will delight readers of all ages."--Kidsreads.com

* "The spare prose, in William’s authentic voice, conveys pathos and humor; the boy’s cautious observations and Papa’s earnest explanations are offset by Elinor’s droll one-liners and the dogs’ succinct comments. Deft characterization adds richness and depth to a deceptively simple narrative, and appealing charcoal pencil illustrations throughout reflect the action."--SLJ, starred review

"The combination of a fanciful plot and likable, honest, straightforward characters makes this a solid cross-genre work with lots of appeal. The animal voices add further interest, as the pets observe the emotions of the humans around them, particularly William, before the people are even aware of their own feelings. While this will obviously draw in fans of animal tales, it will also attract fans of realism willing to stretch."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

  • Maud Hart Lovelace Award Nominee (MN)
  • Iowa Children's Choice Award Nominee
  • Louisiana Young Readers' Choice Award Nominee
  • Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best
  • Nutmeg Book Award Nominee (CT)
  • Volunteer State Book Award Nominee (TN)
  • Sunshine State Young Readers' Award List (FL)
  • Texas Bluebonnet Master List
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Master List (VT)
  • Gryphon Award Honor Book
  • Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year Selection Title

More books from this author: Patricia MacLachlan

More books from this illustrator: Amy June Bates