Saturday, May 31, 2008
The Hello, Goodbye Window
Maya loves her days with Nana. On those days she gets to play all day, no running boring errands. Most Nana days are at our house, but occasionally Maya gets to visit Grandpa and Nana's house. They have a patio door with a huge window. Maya can look out at the back yard.
The little girl in The Hello, Goodbye Window, by Norton Juster and illustrated by Chris Raschka, has a favorite window at Poppy and Nanna's house. It's the kitchen window overlooking the path to the front door. Since Poppy and Nanna spend most of their time in the kitchen, that's the window where you say "Hello" and "Goodbye".
The text describes an idyllic weekend with Poppy and Nanna. The window is good for playing peek-a-boo and making faces. The kitchen has drawers to explore, a sink for washing hands, and a table for coloring.
When it's dark the window becomes a mirror. When the lights are turned off, a solarium. The next day is filled with fun in the garden, except for nap time because "nothing happens until I get up."
The window is where you can get a first glimpse of visitors, such as a T-rex, the pizza delivery guy, or the Queen of England. Today it happens to be Mom and Dad. Goodbyes are waved through the hello, goodbye window.
The author is Norton Juster, of Phantom Tollbooth fame, so you know the writing is a pleasure to read aloud. The illustrations are quite colorful and eccentric. At first they may seem childish and messy. But a closer look shows why Raschka received a Caldecott for this one. There's quite a bit, so I recommend this book for the early grades.