A beautiful collaboration between author Julia Denos and illustrator E.B. Goodale, Windows quietly illuminates the places we call home and the connections we have to those around us.
Windows begins at the end of the day, under a warm, yellow-orange sky. Night classes and yoga are wrapping up, porches are being swept, dinner is on the stove. As the story unfolds in second person, a child in a hooded sweatshirt becomes all of us, and the town and street are our own for the night. As we walk, the dusky sky gives way to the glow of the windows, shining brightly against the muted outdoor colors.
Goodale’s subdued colors and fine detail capture scenes that are calm and familiar as well as eye-catching. Readers will be drawn from window to window, where bonsai grow, fish idle in their tanks and sewing machines wait. Denos keeps her words minimal, relying on creative descriptions to tell a story that leaves plenty of space for the reader’s imagination. But most compelling are the moments of human connection seen on the street as well as through the windows. Parents watch for their children, streamers dot the walls of a birthday party, partners dance, neighbors wave in passing, and kids chat via tin-can telephone.
A gentle, simple story with thoughtful undertones, Windows has the makings of a modern bedtime classic. As the town of Windows makes its way toward bedtime, so do we, surrounded by the objects, the loved ones and the books that we call home.