This is my new favorite book. Centered around the magical front window of her grandparents’ home, this is the story of a pre-school child’s normal visit to her grandparent’s house. Norton Juster uses this first person narrative to give us such a dynamic representation of the protagonist’s emotional and practical experience visiting her grandparents. The interaction between the grandparents—Nanna and Poppy—is fun and disciplined, subtly touching on some of the safety and restriction issues that pre-schoolers are learning at this age. Her impressive imagination is on display when she speaks of ANYBODY being able to go by the Hello, Goodbye window including Tyrannosaurus Rex (he’s extinct so doesn’t come often, you know.) The grandparents are an interracial couple as are the protagonist’s parents who come pick her up at the end of the story. These are happy, culturally diverse people—Nanna (who is of African-Descent) is from England so the Queen comes by for tea; Poppy plays the Harmonica and the protagonist hopes the Poppy she marries can play the harmonica, too—who love the protagonist in a comprehensive expression of that love. I literally had a warm feeling in my chest as I was reading this book and constantly smiled at the protagonist’s happy movement through her day. With three generations of family represented through a child’s eyes, you and your kid are going to love this book.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended; Ages 3+
Reviewer: Omilaju Miranda