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THE HELLO, GOODBYE WINDOW by Norton Juster Kirkus Star


by Norton Juster & illustrated by Chris Raschka

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: April 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7868-0914-0
Publisher: Hyperion

On the title page, a little girl springs away from her parents; turn the page, and the reader sees only her arms on the gate, the reader taking her perspective as she looks over to the white clapboard house where her Nanna and Poppy’s faces stare equally eagerly out of the Hello, Goodbye Window. The exuberant tot proceeds to spend a thoroughly idyllic overnight with her loving grandparents, the stay punctuated by a harmonica serenade, a bike ride (“Not in the street, please”) and a nap. Juster adopts the voice of the child, whose present-tense narration is just right, describing pleasures (saying good night to the stars) and perils (the tiger at the back of the garden) with a steady, sweet candor. Raschka’s mixed-media illustrations are characteristically loose and energetic, depicting this happy, biracial family with jewel tones and extravagant swirls. As the little girl unwinds at the end of the stay, she imagines the many possible visitors who might come to the Hello, Goodbye Window—but no one is more happily welcomed than her parents, who pick her up after her picture-perfect day. (Picture book. 3-7)