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Window Music Hardcover – September 1, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Window music" is 1880s railroad slang for passing scenery, and an impressive range of views is what this visual tour delivers. As a girl travels from her grandparents' house back to her home, Suen's (Man on the Moon) simple rhyming coupletsA"train on the track/ clickety clack"; "in a row/ oranges grow"Aevoke the rhythm of travel, and offer glancing descriptions of a varied terrain that includes banana trees, an ocean beach and city skyscrapers. In his first picture book, Zahares uses thickly applied paint and strong, geometric forms to create scenery that looks almost sculpted. A wave resembles a curl of plaster; a grape arbor is a tangle of thick wiry tendrils and bulging fruit; the train winds through the very peaks of conical snow-dripped mountains. The trip begins and ends in a docile, realistic station, but in between, the journey takes some surreal turns. This magical excursion is music with several movements, returning readers to a familiar theme in the final stanzas. Ages 3-8.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-As a young girl sleeps, a train passes by outside her bedroom window, presaging the day she leaves her grandparents' house to journey home by rail. After waving farewell at the station, the youngster and her mother travel from countryside to city, passing through meadows, orange and banana groves, ice-capped mountains, and seascapes of breaking waves. The scenery is, in fact, the "window music" that entertains the child until the city's skyline looms and Dad awaits at destination's end. This straightforward excursion is conveyed through rhyming text of five-to-six words on each two-page spread. The brevity perfectly captures the staccato rhythm of a rail journey. While simple and direct, there are moments of compelling imagery, "street after street/under our feet," as well as predictable onomatopoeia, "wooo! wooo!/passing through." Zahares's bright and thickly painted palette is wonderfully light-infused. The sinuously curving lines reinforce the loopy track and the panorama, viewed from both inside and outside the chunky train, is ever-changing. The illustrations are idealized and dreamlike, a combination of childlike simplicity and the occasional surreal image. This quick and jolly read-aloud is right on track.
Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile; Library Binding edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670872873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670872879
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.4 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #597,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Who is Anastasia Suen?

a) Author of 215 books for children and adults.

b) Booklist columnist and literacy blogger.

c) Children's literature consultant.

d) A former K, 1, 5, & 6 teacher who visits schools to teach the six traits of writing.

e) A former SDE, UNT, & SMU instructor who works as a freelance editor critiquing manuscripts.

f) All of the above.

The answer is: (f) All of the above.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 6, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I, too, as a proud owner of three Zahares originals, was looking forward to the publication of this book. I was surprized to see such few words, but with this type art work, that is all you need. A simple book to read to youngsters. Looking forward to their next book Delivery.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Window Music is a treat for kids AND their parents! A wonderful book to read aloud, Suen's musical verse is just the right company for Zahares' bold illustrations.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 1998
Format: Hardcover
As a proud owner of two Zahares originals, I was looking forward to the arrival of this book and was not dissapointed. As I viewed each page, I felt as though I was there - the art is that arresting. Superb !
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Format: Paperback
A cute book with simple rhymes and active illustrations for preschool children as a first, first reading book. That is, very simple, few words on each page. It is a nice book to read to preschool children, where I saw this book, in the classroom. That's the best place for Window Music. It has its place, it's cute, the illustrations are unique and original. It's colorful. If you read the page and show the children the pictures, it will hold their interest. They can read the book for themselves in pre-K or Kindergarten. The rhymes are cute and musical. Liked the book in the classroom.

Of 100 books in a pre-K or Kindergarten classroom, there are usually about 10 to 20, more or less, that are of value worth writing about, this was one of those books. The book is not so good for children six years old or older.
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