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83 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She sees things from under glass
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...
Published on January 23, 2006 by E. R. Bird

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Scribbley Colors
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...
Published on September 30, 2010 by rconn


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83 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She sees things from under glass, January 23, 2006
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. There are things to draw and Poppy (who can only play `Oh, Susannah' on his harmonica) will serenade you as he sits, stands, or drinks a glass of water (though she confesses that, "I've never seen him do that"). The window itself? It can be a mirror at night, a window to her imagination (be it a T-Rex outside or the Queen of England), and when the child leaves it's that last place to say good-bye.

Juster mentions on his bookflap that as a grandfather he's, "just warming up". If this book is anything to judge by, he has a good grasp on the subject. What "The Hello, Goodbye Window" does best is synthesize the loving relationship a preschooler can have with his or her own grandparents. Poppy in this book often teases his little granddaughter in a way that is sometimes so realistic and familiar that you're shocked at how well it plays out on the page. That's some good writing, it is. At one point Poppy and child are looking at the window at night like it's a mirror. It looks like the two are outside looking in and the grandfather demands, "What are you doing out there? You come right in and have your dinner". Delighted, the child insists that she's inside with him and not outside at all. In the accompanying picture we see her decrying her insider status as her Poppy regards her with a skeptical and loving look, a hand under his chin. Later when it's hot he sprays her with the hose. She tells him to stop, which he does and immediately and so, "I ask him to do it again. Nanna just shakes her head". Nanna, I'd like to point out, is wearing some pretty kickin' flip-flops in this scene. Just a note.

Raschka always has his own way of doing things. When he illustrates a picture book, he doesn't read it through and find the easiest dullest way of bringing those same words to life. No sir! Not he. In this particular case Raschka's gone wild with his palette. Colors burst forth from this page in a flurry of colors, textures, and wild emotional flicks of the pen. The scantiest of penciled lines can indicate a facial feature or a curl of hair. The book is an odd balance between impressionism and out n' out anarchy at times. You get the distinct feeling that it's all Mr. Raschka can do not to let his drawing hand go haywire and start scribbling hither and thither without cease. The book, sadly, doesn't mention on its publication page what materials the artist utilized when creating his story. To my eye there's definitely some watercolors, possibly a little crayon and colored pencil, and maybe even a smidgen of oil-based something for the deep colors and wild hues.

Of course, as I mentioned before, Mr. Raschka does things his own way. So for some reason he's decided that the father of our heroine should look as if he just stepped out of a 1950s Levittown development. He has a dapper little hat (straw to my eyes), suspenders, white shirt, tie, pocket handkerchief, and striped old-man-golf-pants. You almost wonder if his old timey choice of clothing should make him the grandpa rather than the dad, but the mystery is never really solved. I should also mention that he is white and his wife is black. "The Hello, Goodbye Window" has won the official well-it's-about-bloody-time award for being the first Caldecott winning book to feature an interracial family and a multiracial child. Not only do the little girl's parents consist of a black woman with a white man, but her grandparents ALSO constitute a black woman with a white man. But how do we know? Race is such a nebulous thing. We try to categorize a book by claiming that one character is all white and another all black, but does it really matter in the end? After all, the book points out that the grandmother is originally from England, and who are we do say that the girl's father is white? He may well be the son of the grandparents featured in this book. We don't know and it doesn't matter in the least. Everybody in this story loves one another. They are a family. THAT is what matters. And the small child heroine is an obvious product of that same love. I'm still not sure why the dad looks so McCarthy era though.

Was this my favorite picture book of the year of 2005? Sadly, "Zen Shorts" holds that honor. But I don't mind in the least that "The Hello, Goodbye Window" won all the accolades it did. A lovely little story with original and touching pictures, the book is bound to be beloved of families everywhere. It's touching in its simplicity and written with a sure steady hand. A true class act.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The window..., August 13, 2005
By 
The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers (RAWSISTAZ.com and BlackBookReviews.net) - See all my reviews
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Scribbley Colors, September 30, 2010
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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Window into Childhood, July 10, 2006
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. "A shelf full of glass jars," has a single brown horizontal line, broad streaks of light blue for the bottles, and oranges and yellows for the colors and reflections. The pictures can be busy, but they're never garish or messy. There's a child-like pairing of soft colors with overworked crayons (as if Raschka is covering a mistake), and these both melt and collide with each other. Somehow, Raschka imparts uniformity and even precision within this cacophony, as when he shows the girl and her grandfather seeing their reflection in the Window at night.

The girl and her grandparents enjoy a very protective but fun relationship, and she delights in their ways. "Poppy chases me with the hose [a garden hose] and I yell, 'Stop it Poppy, stop it!! When he does I ask him to do it again." At the conclusion, the girl informs us that the Hello-Goodbye window is "right where you need it." To me, it represents a healthy combination of structure and discovery. This is a book that quietly honors the big and small things that go into a relationship, and does so in a near-perfect pitch of child-style.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Hello, GoodBye Window, November 2, 2006
This is a very happy and cheerful book. It is told from the point of view of a child and she is speaking to the reader. It is written in very kid friendly language.

The "hello, goodbye window" is the downstairs window in the kitchen at the little girls Nanna and Poppy's house. She is explaining how it is unlike any other window. Whenever she goes to their house she can say hello and have fun with them through the window before she gets in the house. She can look through the window once inside and see a lot of what's going on in the world around the neighborhood around her.

One of the real nice things about this book is that it doesn't completely focus on the window. Like I mentioned before, the window is in the kitchen. The girl and her grandparents spend a lot of time together in the kitchen looking through the window, but also making their favorite meals, talking, laughing, and listening to Poppy play his harmonica.

This book goes deeper than just talking about a window in a house of a kitchen and that is what I really like about it. It's more about being together will family and those that you love. It's about sharing what you have, in this case it was time, fun, experiences and love. The window also serves as that constant we sometimes have in our lives in a place where we can be ourselves and be safe. Something that connects us to what's around us and the people around us.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Paperback Version of Controversial Award-Winner, December 26, 2008
This review is from: The Hello, Goodbye Window
It's very strange that Amazon.com doesn't directly sell this Caldecott Medal Winner... it's available new from others starting at around $20.00, and used at a dime and up. The variation in price is apt: IN a way, it reflects the increibly varied reactions that the book received, primarily because of iconoclastic illustrator Chris Raschka's smudgy, difficult-to-pin-down pictures. Art or slop--you decide. The beauty of this paperbacl version is that you can buy it new, but at a lower price. Of course, another strategy would just involve finding it at a local library. Following is my review of the hardcover; I hope it will give you a "window" into this controversial award winner.

A Window into Childhood
This book has the ambiguous voice of either a contemporary toddler, or 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 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. "A shelf full of glass jars," has a single brown horizontal line, broad streaks of light blue for the bottles, and oranges and yellows for the colors and reflections. The pictures can be busy, but they're never garish or messy. There's a child-like pairing of soft colors with overworked crayons (as if Raschka is covering a mistake), and these both melt and collide with each other. Somehow, Raschka imparts uniformity and even precision with in this cacophony, as when he shows the girl and her grandfather seeing their reflection in the Window at night.

The girl and her grandparents enjoy a very protective but fun relationship, and she delights in their ways. "Poppy chases me with the hose [a garden hose] and I yell, 'Stop it Poppy, stop it!! When he does I ask him to do it again." At the conclusion, the girl informs us that the Hello-Goodbye window is "right where you need it." To me, it represents a healthy combination (for young ones) of structure and discovery. This is a book that quietly honors the big and small things that go into a relationship, and does so in a near-perfect pitch of child-style.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The good book, May 18, 2006
A Kid's Review
I liked all the pictures. My faivorit picture was the one weth the girl looking thrugh the window. I loved the book!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, August 7, 2006
A cute book- beautiful illustrations. People need to chill out with their overly analytical ideas about the Caldecott Medal. Beauty (and art) is in the eye of the beholder. The important thing is that children love it-period.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Say hello to an absolutely wonderful book!, August 9, 2006
By 
"The Hello, Goodbye Window" is delightful -- with imaginative art, warm and welcoming text -- a perfect book to read before, after or during a visit to grandparents or any other caretaker in a child's life. Matter-of-fact moments -- going from one's own home to one's grandparents' home and back again, sharing breakfast, taking naps, playing outside -- are infused with charm and combined with the wonderful fancy that epitomizes the best of conversations and time shared among generations. I enjoy this book as much as the children do, and that is quite a lot indeed.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hello, Goodbye Window: A Familiar Experience with Grandparents, November 30, 2006
As a teacher, I used The Hello, Goodbye Window during our family theme to discuss grandparents and the special relationships children have with them. My Pre-K students did not connect with the symbolism of the window, but enjoyed the pictures of the grandparents' house. This book launched a great discussion of the children's experiences with their own grandparents.

Author Norton Jester uses simple events and experiences, such as running through the sprinkler, to describe a child's magical experience at her Nanna and Poppy's house. Chris Raschka's illustrations are colorful and imaginative - almost as if one of my students drew them. However, this open and artistic style did not detract from my students' interest in this text.

This text is a great launching point for a discussion about grandparents for the early childhood and primary education fields. Educators with primary age students would be able to discuss the significance of the window. Relevant for all ages, this text highlights a child's special relationship with her grandparents - a relationship children treasure.
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The Hello, Goodbye Window
The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster (Hardcover - May 1, 2005)
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