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The Hello, Goodbye Window Hardcover – April 26, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 1–The window in Nanna and Poppy's kitchen is no ordinary window–it is the place where love and magic happens. It's where the girl and her doting grandparents watch stars, play games, and, most importantly, say hello and goodbye. The first-person text is both simple and sophisticated, conjuring a perfectly child-centered world. Sentences such as "When I get tired I come in and take my nap and nothing happens until I get up" typify the girl's happy, imaginative world. While the language is bouncy and fun, it is the visual interpretation of this sweet story that sings. Using a bright rainbow palette of saturated color, Raschka's impressionistic, mixed-media illustrations portray a loving, mixed-race family. The artwork is at once lively and energetic, without crowding the story or the words on the page; the simple lines and squiggles of color suggest a child's own drawings, but this is the art of a masterful hand. Perfect for lap-sharing, this book will find favor with children and adults alike.–Angela J. Reynolds, Washington County Cooperative Library Services, Hillsboro, OR

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*Starred Review* PreS-Gr. 2. Two well-known names come together in a book that speaks to the real lives of children and their experiences. The young narrator visits her grandparents, Nanna and Poppy, in their big house. They explore Nanna's garden, and Poppy plays his harmonica. The narrator rides her bike and takes a nap, "and nothing happens till I get up." Looking out the picture window, the "hello, goodbye window," she sees the pizza guy, and, more fancifully, a dinosaur. She also spots her parents coming to pick her up. The curly-haired girl is happy to see them, but sad because it means the end of the visit. The window imagery is less important than the title would make it seem. More intrinsic is Juster's honest portrayal of a child's perceptions (a striped cat in the yard is a tiger) and emotions (being happy and sad at the same time "just happens that way sometimes"). Raschka's swirling lines, swaths, and dabs of fruity colors seem especially vibrant, particularly in the double-page spreads, which have ample room to capture both the tender moments between members of the interracial family and the exuberance of spending time in the pulsating outdoors, all flowers, grass, and sky. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH; 1st edition (April 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786809140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786809141
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.5 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Norton Juster is an architect and planner, professor emeritus of design at Hampshire College, and the author of a number of highly acclaimed children's books, including The Dot and the Line, which was made into an Academy Award-winning animated film. He has collaborated with Sheldon Harnick on the libretto for an opera based on The Phantom Tollbooth. The musical adaptation, with a score by Arnold Black, premiered in 1995 and will soon be performed in schools and theaters nationwide. An amateur cook and professional eater, Mr. Juster lives with his wife in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 94 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The Caldecott Awards are my Oscars. Every year I sit perched on the edge of my seat just waiting and hoping and wondering what the hands down picture book winner of the year is going be. Last year I predicted correctly who was gonna get it and this year I had some pretty good guesses. So when the announcement was made that first time picture book author (and "Phantom Tollbooth" god) Norton Juster had won for his eclectic little "The Hello, Goodbye Window", I plucked that puppy straight from my to-be-read pile of library books and snuggled down for a read. Obviously the editor of the book, once they realized they had a bona fide original Juster on their hands, ran and got the most award-worthy illustrator they could find. Enter Chris Raschka. Always a bridesmaid never a bride, Raschka's garnered himself enough New York Times Best Illustrated Book mentions, Horn Book Globe wins, and even a Caldecott HONOR, but never the sweetest plum of all. Now in 2006 all that has changed. Ha ha! The Caldecott has fallen smack dab onto "The Hello, Goodye Window" and the result is a lovely pairing between two greats, producing a story that is, if nothing else, sweet.

A young girl is first pictured on the dedication page hugging her mother and father goodbye. Then she skips off on the title page as her loving parents wave her off. The child is going to her grandparents' home. When visiting she always makes sure to pass the Hello, Goodbye Window. "It looks like a regular window, but it's not". The girl ticks off the reasons why it's so spectacular. You can play games through it, "frighten" your own grandparents, or tap on it and then hide with glee. Then we see the child as she plays in her Nanna and Poppy's home.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers on August 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Narrated by a young girl, THE HELLO, GOODBYE WINDOW is an endearing story that details the importance of a very special window and the grandparents who live on the other side of it. The little girl uses the window to greet her grandparents, play games, look out at the world, and wave goodbye at the end of her trip.

I enjoyed THE HELLO, GOODBYE WINDOW and its view of the relationship between children and their grandparents. The drawings are almost kid-like scribbles that give the story a more child-like appeal, complementing the narration. The colors are bright and craftily tell the story of those passing the windows, Poppy's harmonica playing, the dark blue/black sky and the stars that inhabit it. Juster does a wonderful job of showing the world through the eyes of a child and her connection of all things important to the kitchen window. Additionally, teaching children about interracial families (depicted in the drawings, not the words) is a good way to introduce those children of mixed heritage.

Reviewed by Tee C. Royal

of The RAWSISTAZ™ Reviewers
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The voice here sounds like a young girl's spontaneous speech, or perhaps the reminiscence of an adult looking at a foggy past. In either case, famed author Norman Juster ("The Phantom Tollbooth"), and multiple Caldecott honor winner Chris Raschka (who finally won the actual Award with this book) combine to form an impressionistic mélange of character study and memory.

While we don't get to know the unnamed heroine very well, Juster captures the most important facets of the toddler personality. The girl is amusingly egocentric, and has an active imagination. For example, through the "Hello-Goodbye" window she sees a dinosaur ("he doesn't come around much"), the "Queen of England" ("Nana is English you know, so the Queen likes to come for tea"), and the pizza boy (who, of course, knows her favorite flavor). There's really very little plot--just revealing snapshot scenes of her sometimes quirky grandmother and grandfather.

The Hello-Goodbye window itself in not central to the story, it's like a theatrical set piece that limns such concepts as inside/outside, arrival/departure, reality/fantasy, day/night, and open/secret. However, these "big" ideas lie just beneath the book's surface; overall, the story has the slightly random and spontaneous exuberance of a child who can't wait to get the words out. As mentioned above, illustrator Raschka won the Caldecott Medal for his illustrations: A childlike style full of jumbled color-forms with big circles and squiggles of color-on-color crayon, watercolor, and (perhaps) pastels. Although some pictures appear somewhat abstract, closer and repeated observation reveals recognizable objects, such as a harmonica, a teakettle, and oatmeal with raisins.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By rconn on September 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Though it didn't speak to me, this book could be very useful with young children to explore the idea that they can write about anything, even a window at their grandparent's house and what it means to them. It also introduces quotes in a very simple and non-intrusive way.
The pictures in the book are abstract and very colorful. Young children might find them fun and whimsical. I cannot decide if because of the abstractness I think they are not very detailed pictures, or overly detailed pictures. Overall, I didn't find this book that great.
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