Thursday, May 17, 2012

I missed this Caldecott-did you?

       The wonderful blog Gathering Books is holding an Award Winning Book challenge this year.  They, and others of us who have taken this challenge have reviewed many books from all over the world that have been acclaimed in some way by an award.  The best thing is I have discovered numerous kinds of awards that I've never heard of, thus also new books to put on a TBR list.  My list grows longer, and it's exciting to see what writers are doing beyond my own community here in the US.



       This time, however, I do want to share a description of a recent (2005) Caldecott winning book by Norton Juster and illustrated by Chris Raschka.  It is the Hello, Goodbye Window.  I noticed this cover with two older people waving to a gloriously happy little girl.  I'm a grandmother and I wondered.  I saw the golden medal in the corner and I wondered.  So I read the book and found that this story is the sweetest story of a visit to grandparents and the little things they do with their granddaughter, those little things that one cannot buy in a store, but make life as good as it can be.
        Even before the visiting grandchild goes inside, she gets to wave, or "climb up on the flower barrel and tap the window" then duck down to create a surprise.  Sometimes, if the grandparents see her first, they play peek-a-boo, too.  The kitchen is where the window is, but in that kitchen there is so much more.  Poppy, the grandpa, sometimes says "HELLO WORLD!  WHAT HAVE YOU GOT FOR US TODAY?"  Nobody ever answers, the book tells us, but he doesn't care.  Sometimes they play in the backyard and Poppy chases with the hose sprayer, and the little girl says stop.  But when Poppy does, she asks him to do it again.
       One page reads:  When I get tired I come in and take my nap and nothing happens until I get up.  There are so many wonderful pieces of this story and probably because I'm a grandmother who has had such lovely experiences, I just want to share it with every grandparent around.  And I know that teachers of young students will excite the story-telling when they read this to students.
        Chris Raschka's illustrations are exceptionally wonderful, childlike, vibrant and delightful.  He is an artist who can, with some few colors and lines, imbue a picture with joy, and at the end with goodbyes, sadness.  I'm sorry I missed this book until now, but so glad I found it at last.

10 comments:

  1. What a sweet book! I'll have to send it to a new grandmother I know. :)

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    1. It's just great, Irene! I hope you'll enjoy it too!

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  2. I missed this book, too. It sounds delightful. I may want to read it to myself and create my own "Goodbye Window" before grandson gets to hear it! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I bet you have just the 'right' window, Donna. The book is just precious.

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  3. Glad you decided to post about this book today. It is a lovely story with beautiful illustrations that capture delight!

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    1. Thanks Betsy. From your comment, I assume you know about this book. It is delightful. I wonder if you use it with students?

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  4. Oh Linda, I am so glad that you have included this in our AWB Database! I've seen this book lying around in our libraries but have never had a chance to read through it yet. Your review makes me want to visit the library now. It sounds heartwarming, radiant, and filled with joy. My kind of book. :)

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    1. It is really special, as I wrote, Myra. I have some 'award-winning' catching up to do, but they seem to arrive most auspiciously!

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  5. Linda, I love, love, love this book! Because of this book, I have a "Hello, Goodbye" window in our classroom - where families pause to give an extra farewell wave, where siblings sneak a peek to see what we are doing, where sometimes I take an unhappy preschooler for a walk and the opportunity to check out the classroom from a whole new perspective. Funny, I hadn't even considered the joy this book would have for grandparents in particular! I love it.

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    1. Oh my, how wonderful is that, Maureen, to have your own "hello, goodbye" window for the little ones. The book is such a treasure, I agree! I know it's a book I will keep extras of for gifts!

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