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windows

JULIA DENOS, ILLUSTRATED BY E. B. GOODALE

CANDLEWICK PRESS, OCTOBER 17, 2017

Walking his dog at dusk, one boy catches glimpses of the lives around him in this lovely ode to autumn evenings, exploring your neighborhood, and coming home.


Listen to me talk about my favorite spread in "windows" on teachingbooks.net



WINDOWS...

... is a 2018 ALSC Notable Children's Book, a 2018 Ezra Jack Keats Illustrator Honor Book and a 2018 Children's Book Council Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People. It was on several 2017 'best of' lists including BookpageHorn Book Fanfare, Chicago Public Libraries and the Boston Globe. It received five starred reviews from The Horn BookBCCBBooklistSLJ, and Kirkus, and was featured in the New York Times and People Magazine. Two illustrations from Windows were also selected as the cover for Candlewick's Fall '17 catalog and the cover for the ABC Best Books for Young Readers Catalog. 


NEW YORK TIMES review of books

"A two-page panorama of windows, with its charmingly framed miniature portraits of dancing couples, a pensive girl, a man at a piano, and the petal-like blades of an electric fan, is particularly lovely. Denos and Goodale provide a touch of nostalgia in a pair of pals calling to each other from adjacent houses, stretching a string between two cans. The highlight of the boy’s sojourn is the end, when he returns home to see his mother in the window, waiting for him. It’s a reassuring moment in these times, when walking at night in a hoodie can have different, even troubling associations for a child of color." Full review here.


Kirkus (starred review)

"Denos’ story is quiet, thoughtful, and paced to the beat of a gentle rhythm. Debut illustrator Goodale’s delicately detailed ink, watercolor, letterpress, and digital collage illustrations display palettes of the evening and night skies with beautifully nuanced shades of yellow, gold, and blue. The red-hooded child of color with dog can’t help but recall Peter and Willie, and this book is a lovely, affirming follow-up." Full review here.


School Library Journal (starred review)

"Readers will want to revisit these pages of impressionistic trees, buildings that blur as they recede into the vanishing point, and captivating combinations of fully realized scenes with transparent objects outlined in delicate lines. The narrative ends with a quickening step toward the loved one waving behind the curtain—and a story shared in a snuggle. This evocative portrait elevates an everyday routine to a wonder-filled walk of discovery. Perfect for one-on-one and small group sharing." Full review here.


Booklist (starred review)

As nighttime falls, a brown-skinned kid, who could be a boy or a girl, in a cheery red hoodie (surely an homage to Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day) takes a dog for a walk down a densely populated city street. In dusky building facades, glowing windows reveal snippets of life within, and with a lyrical, whispery tone, the narrative directly invites the reader, like the protagonist, to find delight and wonder in the neighborhood’s activity. Goodale’s arresting artwork does most of the heavy lifting here, with a sky progressing from the pale pastels just before sunset to the fiery orange and pink glow of a setting sun to the deep blues and purples of a darkening night. The cityscape is lively in front of Goodale’s aqueous skies, and the variety of people quietly emphasizes the diversity of the child’s neighborhood—families prepare dinner, construction workers tidy up a site, couples take dance lessons, a yoga class stretches, and a pair of kids in neighboring houses talk on a tin-can telephone strung between their windows. It’s a genial take on city life, which makes the neighborhood seem just as comforting as home, though the child’s home—just as luminescent as the windows he or she passes—is surely the most comforting of all. Ideal bedtime reading and a gorgeously understated celebration of everyday enchantment. — Sarah Hunter


Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)

"Haven’t we all done it? Looked into the gleaming lit-up windows as we walk down darkened streets, marveling at what seem to be dramatic set designs and glamorous drama within? That’s the practice of our nameless protagonist, a boy who, as the sun sets, takes his dog out for a walk along the street where windows are “lit up like eyes in the dusk.” The serene second-person narration effectively sets the mood, with swift description (he encounters “an early raccoon taking a bath in squares of yellow light”) balancing effectively with simple declarative statement as the boy encounters roaming cats, passes other promenaders, and, most importantly, gets a different look at his neighborhood... Windows offers a similar achievement in its reframing of the everyday as something special, and beautiful, and worthy of attention; it makes everyday lives into a cozy art that we can all view and all make."  Full review here.


The Horn Book (starred review)

"...The tone is contemplative, balanced by considerable action in the ink, watercolor, letterpress, and digital collage illustrations and a sense of vibrant life throughout. Carefully composed double-page spreads contain enough detail to intrigue but not overwhelm, and although the book becomes progressively darker as night falls, there’s always a glow—from the spectacular sunset, from the many lit-up windows. Several recent picture books feature nighttime urban walks (The Way Home in the Night, rev. 7/17; City Moon, reviewed in this issue); this one stands out for its child protagonist’s independence, its matter-of-fact portrayal of a diverse city neighbor- hood, the emotion conveyed by the language, and the stunningly atmospheric art." Full review here.


the horn book calling caldecott blog

"To be sure, the Caldecott committee is focused on the book in front of them and are not necessarily concerned with the book’s path to publication — but I do find all of it interesting. And I also share all of that to say this: though the book was spawned by affection for a particular town in the northeast U.S., this setting could also be a densely urban town in another part of the country — a neighborhood in Chicago, Nashville, or New York. This universality is part and parcel of the book’s appeal." Full article by Julie Danielson here.