Also known as A Chair, A Fireplace, & A Tea Cozy. Or just Tea Cozy. Talking about books, TV shows, movies.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
The Hello, Goodbye Window
The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster, illustrated by Chris Raschka.
2006 Caldecott Medal
The Plot: The nameless narrator visits her grandparents. The "hello, goodbye" window is the kitchen window. When coming to visit, it's the Hello Window; when leaving, the Goodbye Window.
The Good: I only just realized that the narrator was nameless. That's pretty cool. (Unless, because I already handed this over to my niece and nephew, my notes are wrong and she has a name, and I'm just a stupidhead.)
The narrator calls her grandparents Nanna & Poppy; that's what Queen Lucy & Skaterboy call my parents.
I love the illustrations; they are colorful, alive, vibrant, and detailed, but there is also a roughness to them. The family is multiracial, but the text is silent on that. Just like a child would be. I love that a kid can look at this book and see themselves and their family, and it's done in a natural way, no "message" moment.
The child's perspective is note perfect: "When I get tired I come in and take my nap and nothing happens until I get up." The world ceases to exist as the child sleeps.
Another part I liked: "I'm glad because I know we're going home, but it makes me sad too because I have to leave Nanna and Poppy. You can be happy and sad at the same time, you know. it just happens that way sometimes." I love that "you know," so typical of a child's thoughts; letting you in on some bit of wisdom they have discovered.
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