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Children's Fiction Adoption

Maggie Can't Wait

by (author) Frieda Wishinsky

illustrated by Dean Griffiths

Fitzhenry and Whiteside
Initial publish date
Jul 2009
Adoption, Peer Pressure, New Baby
Recommended Age
4 to 8
Recommended Grade
p to 3
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2009
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Maggie is so excited to show her friends the picture of her soon-to-be-adopted sister. She can't wait to show the new baby off. Everyone will love her! But when Maggie brings a picture of the baby to show-and-tell, she doesn't get the reaction she expected. Kimberly says the baby is ugly. Even Maggie's best friend, Sam, admits that the baby has a squished nose, a wrinkly face, and big ears. Maggie is mortified. And now she can imagine how awful it's going to be to have such an ugly sister. She doesn't want to have anything to do with a baby sister with ears like a donkey, a nose like a squished bug and a face wrinkled like an old shoe.

When her parents pick the baby up at the adoption agency, Maggie's worst fears are realized. The baby is just like her picture. Maggie wants nothing to do with her. Not even when everyone else is making such a fuss over her. Not even when she is all alone in her crib and crying.

Not even when she smiles up at Maggie for the first time?

A delightful sequel to Give Maggie a Chance, Maggie Can't Wait again features the little girl with the big imagination as she dreads the arrival of a new adopted sister and learns how easy it is to make up her own mind.

About the authors


Frieda Wishinsky
est l'auteure de plus de 40 livres pour enfants. Parmi les ouvrages déjà
parus, on peut citer, entre autres,

Ounga Bounga, Tu es méchante Lily-Ange!, Le sac à main de la reine,
Canada en vedette

et les romans de la série Catastrophe! Elle vit à Toronto, en


FRIEDA WISHINSKY has written over seventy books for children, including Oonga Boonga; You're Mean, Lily Jean; the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award winner Please, Louise!; the middle-grade series Survival, and the non-fiction books Explorers Who Made It . . . or died trying; Everything but the Kitchen Sink and Colossal Canada. Frieda lives in Toronto, Ontario with her husband. Visit her online at

Frieda Wishinsky's profile page

Dean Griffiths is a popular picture book artist with more than 25 titles to his name. His many awards include the Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Book Prize for Maggie Can't Wait and the Chocolate Lily Award for Ballerinas Don't Wear Glasses. Dean's 2012 title Lumpito and the Painter from Spain has been nominated for the SYRCA Shining Willow Award and was a Bank Street Best Book. His most recent book is When Emily Carr Met Woo. Dean lives in Duncan, British Columbia, with his daughter.

Dean Griffiths' profile page

Librarian Reviews

Maggie Can’t Wait

Maggie Can’t Wait begins with anticipation. Maggie’s parents are adopting a new baby, and she will finally have a sister. In her excitement Maggie brings a photograph of the baby to show-and-tell. As she holds the picture up for the class to see, she describes her sister-to-be as “...beautiful and wonderful and sweet.” Alas, not everyone shares her opinion. A particularly cruel classmate’s comment wounds her deeply: “You think you’re special because you have a new sister. Well, you’re not. And besides, your new sister is ugly.” Maggie is devastated! How will she ever be able to accompany this infant anywhere without facing ridicule and embarrassment? She secretly hopes that her parents will change their minds about the adoption, but it is not to be. When the baby is brought home, Maggie sadly realizes that the infant looks just like her photo. It is only when the baby smiles at Maggie for the first time that she grows to love the new addition to the family just the way she is!

Frieda Wishinsky’s text is both poignant and uplifting. One can observe the rapid descent of Maggie’s elation to despair after she hears her classmates’ unfeeling comments. She had such wonderful plans for her sister’s public debut and is troubled by the brutal honesty of her peers. Wishinsky sensitively explores the spectrum of Maggie’s emotions from a child’s point of view... from joy to anguish and finally to complete acceptance.

Illustrator Dean Griffiths has created wonderful feline characters using watercolour and pencil crayons. Observe how adept he is at reflecting myriad expressions on the characters’ faces. Even the ugly becomes precious through his skill.

This is a inspirational story about the courage a young child exhibits... a courage to see the beautiful in the ordinary, thus transforming her pain and self-doubt into an assured sense of love and self-worth.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Winter 2010. Vol.33 No.1.

Maggie Can’t Wait

All babies are cute, right? Well... Maggie can’t wait to show her pals the photograph of her gorgeous, terrific, soon-to-be-adopted baby sister. But mean Kimberly says the baby is unattractive. Even Maggie’s best friend, Sam, can’t think of anything kind to say. Now Maggie would rather clean up after elephants than bring that baby home!

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2010.

Other titles by Frieda Wishinsky

Other titles by Dean Griffiths