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Hurry Up!

A Book About Slowing Down

Illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal



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About The Book

A busy boy and his dog learn to slow down and enjoy life together in this lyrical, rhyming picture book perfect for hurried families everywhere.

For one busy boy, life is all hurry up, hurry down, hurry round and round and round! That is until he takes a big breath...and a big break...and slows down to see all the wonderful things in the world around him.

From celebrated picture book creators Kate Dopirak and Christopher Silas Neal, this playful yet powerful picture book reminds us to be present, to be mindful, and to appreciate each moment.

About The Author

Family Art Photography

Kate Dopirak (1975–2018) loved walking her puppy, watching her sons play basketball, and convincing her husband to share a cheese plate instead of wings. She also loved to write for kids. Kate was a teacher, a reading specialist, and the Assistant Regional Advisor for Western Pennsylvania SCBWI. Her books include You’re My Boo; Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Car; and Hurry Up. Visit her at

About The Illustrator

Christopher Silas Neal is an award-winning illustrator and author who regularly contributes to The New York TimesThe New Yorker, and creates book covers for various publishers. He has directed short animated videos for Kate Spade and Anthropologie and was awarded a medal from the Society of Illustrators for his work in motion graphics. He illustrated the acclaimed picture books Over and Under the Snow and Lifetime, both of which explore the natural world. Over and Under the Snow, with author Kate Messner, was praised for its “stunning retro-style illustrations” (The New York Times), was a 2011 New York Times Editor’s Choice and won an E.B. White Honor Award in 2012. He recently contributed art to the New York Times bestseller Goodnight Songs, which is a collection of poems by author of Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Beach Lane Books (May 19, 2020)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534424975
  • Grades: P - 3
  • Lexile ® AD230L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®

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Raves and Reviews

Kids aren’t exempt from fast-paced living, especially not the brown-skinned child who stars in this prescription for downtime by the late Dopirak visualizes its opening words with images of the child dashing down the stairs and out to the bus: “Hurry up!/ Hurry down./ Hurry round and round... and round.”...Out for a walk, child and dog continue at the breakneck pace until “STOP!” appears in large letters across the sky, a message from the universe. A page turn reveals a world transformed and on pause....A long, luxurious afternoon ends at dusk as the pair head home. Neal’s visual pacing takes readers from frenetic activity to solitary moonlit slumber in one smooth arc, embodying the shift to calm that all creatures crave—and need.

– Publishers Weekly, March 30, 2020

A child learns to change the pace in this playful picture book.

A brown-skinned child with energetic, straight hair wakes to “hurry up,” flies down the stairs, backpack in tow, and out the door to the school bus....Leaving school, getting home, starting homework, and taking the dog out all happen in a hurry—until the child and dog reach a meadow and “STOP. // Slow things down.” Looking closely at nature and the landscape, playing fetch, and exploring until the sun goes down become ways to slow it down, right through bedtime. The spare, rhyming text is fun to read aloud, and it conveys a too-familiar feeling of helter-skelter frenzy that settles into a friendlier pace suited to attention to the world and then relaxation. The illustrations use rows of chairs, rows of houses, crowds of children, and flying papers to represent chaos, competition, and stress, then close-ups, panoramic views, and saturated colors to show the sources of calm and restorative slowness. This story is sure to strike a chord with many a modern family; it’s a wonderful addition to a bedtime collection to settle in with at the end of a hectic day.

Hurry up and buy this charming book.

– Kirkus Reviews *Starred Review*, April 5, 2020

Many people would benefit from the important messages urged in this book—slow down, breathe deeply, and take a walk in nature. Readers meet a child rushing to complete the responsibilities of each day. With hair flying and a backpack on, the child is always hurrying at home and at school in order to “win” and “reach the top.” Finally, a spread with just the word STOP brings a halt to the child’s breakneck pace. The child takes a break, makes a wish, goes on a walk, and listens to “the forest talk.” The rhymes in the latter half of the story are gentle and sweet, as the child and a steadfast dog enjoy the simple pleasures of life in a beautifully green world. VERDICT For collections seeking a secular message of paths to peace, this unexpected admonishment turns into a well-paced meditation for children and adults alike.Reviewed by Sally James, South Hillsborough Elem. Sch., Hillsborough, CA , May 08, 2020

– School Library Journal, May 8, 2020

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More books from this author: Kate Dopirak

More books from this illustrator: Christopher Silas Neal