CALDECOTT MEDAL WINNER – 2006
Chris Raschka, illustrator
Norton Juster, author
New York: Michael di Capua/Hyperion, 2005
ages 2 +
Interests: grandparents, babysitters
Sequel to this book: Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie
Also by this author: The Phantom Tollbooth
A child’s retelling of what happens when she stays with her grandparents while her parents are at work. She talks lovingly about her Nanna and Poppy, their house, their activities, their jokes and games.
This is a really delightful book. The pastel illustrations are vivid, bright and happy, with lots of vigour and motion. And the writing is really wonderful too, capturing a young child’s perceptions convincingly.
“When I get tired I come in and take my nap and nothing happens until I get up.”
She happily recounts the ways in which she sometimes fools Nanna and Poppy, talks about the various rooms in the house, and describes the yard and garden.
The kitchen window is the window of the title, where she waves hello and goodbye to her grandparents. And at night the window is like a mirror, and it looks like she’s outside looking in.
When her Mom and Dad pick her up after work she is glad to see them but sad to leave, and communicates the complex emotion:
“You can be happy and sad at the same time, you know. It just happens that way sometimes.”
A really charming and thoughtful book. (Would be a terrific book to persuade a child that going to a grandparent’s or babysitter’s house for the entire day could be lots of fun.)