Module 3: The Hello, Goodbye Window

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Book Summary:
A visit to Nanny and Poppy’s begins with a window.  One little girl creates memories with her grandparents on either side of the hello, goodbye window at the front of the house.  From special oatmeal in the morning, peering out at the garden, to waving to special guests like the Queen of England and the Pizza guy, the little girl knows that this special window is “right where you need it.”  Trips to her grandparents house are framed through the window complete with memories and dreams of having her own “hello, goodbye window” someday.

APA Reference of Book:
Juster, N and Raschka, C. (2005).  The hello, goodbye window.  New York, NY: Hyperion Books for Children.

Although the setting was very different from my own memories, I was immediately transported to my childhood and my grandparent’s front porch swing as memories of my own “Nanny” and “Poppy” swirled around me like the finger-painted style of this book’s illustrations.  The story with its nostalgic accounts of a young child’s visit to her grandparents’ house are brought to life through the pastel, watercolor, and crayon illustrations, reminsicent of a child’s finger painting.  The primary color scheme sets the bright and cheerful mood of the book along with the broad sweeps of watercolor to create a blue sky and swirls of crayons on various greens blend together to make each spread of pages as engaging as the text.

Professional Review: 

The Hello, Goodbye Window.

illus. by Chris Raschka. unpaged. Hyperion/
Michael di Capua Bks. Apr. 2005. Tr $15.95.
ISBN 0-7868-0914-0. LC 2004113496.

PreS-Gr 1– The window in Nanna and Poppy’s kitchen is no ordinary window-it is the place where love and magic happens. It’s where the girl and her doting grandparents watch stars, play games, and, most importantly, say hello and goodbye. The first-person text is both simple and sophisticated, conjuring a perfectly child-centered world. Sentences such as “When I get tired I come in and take my nap and nothing happens until I get up” typify the girl’s happy, imaginative world. While the language is bouncy and fun, it is the visual interpretation of this sweet story that sings. Using a bright rainbow palette of saturated color, Raschka’s impressionistic, mixed-media illustrations portray a loving, mixed-race family. The artwork is at once lively and energetic, without crowding the story or the words on the page; the simple lines and squiggles of color suggest a child’s own drawings, but this is the art of a masterful hand. Perfect for lap-sharing, this book will find favor with children and adults alike.

Reynolds, A. J., Jones, T. E., Toth, L., Charnizon, M., Grabarek, D., & Raben, D. (2005). The hello, goodbye window [Review of the book The hello, goodbye window]. School Library Journal51(3), 174.

Library Use:
After reading the story and viewing the artwork, students can participate in a “window walk” around campus to collect stories, details, and people they see through various windows.  Then, they can use magazines, clip art, etc. to create a collage for the windows they saw.  The collage window can become part of a display for this book in the library along with captions from students describing what is in the window.

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