From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4--When baby Tracy is first brought to her new home, the view of the urban neighborhood as seen through her window is not a pleasant one. Billboards and graffiti are everywhere, garbage is strewn across the streets, and only a few meager plants are fighting their way through the cracks in the cement. Bit by bit, as Tracy grows, the area is slowly reclaimed, so that the final view through the window is clean, lush, and green, with birds nesting peacefully in new trees and vistas that reveal glimpses of the now-visible blue river. In each of the double-page views through the window, readers can note not just the physical changes, but also the people in the community actively engaged in affecting those changes and producing a true home. As she did in Window
(Greenwillow, 1991), Baker uses natural materials to create detailed, arresting collages that tell a story in which words are superfluous. Children can pore over these pages again and again and make fresh discoveries with each perusal. Whether enjoyed independently or incorporated into units on the environment, communities, or artistic technique, this is a book to treasure.--Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
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*Starred Review* K-Gr. 3. This wordless picture book with exquisitely detailed collage illustrations speaks eloquently about urban conservation. Every double-page spread is a view through the same window, a view that changes over a generation, beginning with a couple expecting a baby and continuing as the baby grows up, is courted, and is married in the neighborhood street. At first the sprawl and smog nearly smother the view, but gradually the place changes. The community brings back a variety of local plants, and by the time the young woman's own baby is born, trees block the billboards, there are birds on the roof and in the sky, and cyclists and a bus can be seen on the roadway. Suddenly, there's a glimpse of the river in the distance, a dragonfly on the windowsill, and the full moon shines at night. Unlike some collage art, the technique here never gets in the way. The details show and tell a story about the small things in one neighborhood--their fragility, strength, and connection--and their power to make a difference. With each look at the pictures, there's more to see in the crowded neighborhood that is transformed into a wild and beautiful place. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved