Author: Julia Denos
Illustrator: E. B. Goodale
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: 2017.10.17
My Rating Out of 10: 8.5
This stunning picture book follows a young boy through the city as he walks his dog during dusk. Windows in buildings are lit up, and you can see how different people are preparing for the night. One woman holds a bundled baby, while another woman is on the computer. Two children talk to one another with a tin can phone. Some people play the piano, some dance, and some paint. When he eventually arrives back home after his adventure, the young boy is greeted by a motherly figure and they curl up together to read a story with one another.
Windows is a wonderful book to read aloud to a classroom or story time; but it is also perfect for sharing with just one or two young ones. While reading, you can imagine and create different stories for each person (or animal) in a window; or for a child even younger, you could simply talk about what each person is doing.
In a video, author Julia Denos said she wanted the book to convey the sense of home, and it does just that. Denos also includes references to stories, such as the line: “Others are empty and leave you to fill them up with stories” and the illustration of the young boy and his mother reading a story together.
Goodale combined the use of ink, letterpress, digital collage, and watercolor to create realistic houses and neighborhoods. She used the painting and drawing for the buildings-which were based on actual buildings around her city; while she used the watercolors for the sky. This created a sharp juxtaposition between human-made forms and natural beauty; between dark silhouettes of buildings and the colorful sky.
Overall, it is an enchanting book that conveys the idea that something as seemingly simple as taking an evening walk can be a magical and special experience.
Julia Denos’ Website
Denos and Goodale discuss the book (Video)
Horn Book Interview with Denos and Goodale
Project Muse Review