Welcome to the monthly children’s book review feature with a focus on diverse books here at Bird Meets Worm! My team of reviewers—Cara Chow, Joan Charles, Sharon Calle—and I are so excited to be championing books celebrating everything from gender diversity, people of color, the LGBTQ community to ethnic, cultural and religious minorities, people with disabilities and developmental challenges to controversial topics, unique family situations and anything and everything I did not include. It is to say we take a rightfully board view of diversity! We aim to shine a light on books that bring both familiar experiences to those who do not often see themselves represented in books and new experiences to those looking to expand their worldview. Here at Bird Meets Worm we believe in the power of story to build empathy and thus a better world for you and me and everyone. Look for a new review on the second Wednesday of every month.
By Julia Denos • Illustrated By E.B. Goodale
Picture book (ages 4-8) • 32 pages
Published by Candlewick Press • 2017
Windows is the seemingly simple story of a boy and his dog on an early evening walk around their neighborhood. The text is spare and thoughtful and Goodale’s gorgeous artwork feeds us a wealth of rich details to enjoy—each read offering a new glimpse into the lives of the boy’s neighbors and friends: a yogi wobbling out of tree pose, a painter at work, a skateboarding friend waving hello.
And, of course, with the red hoodie the boy wears throughout the story, you can’t miss the homage paid to Peter, star of the iconic picture book, The Snowy Day. It is as if Peter may have traveled through time and space to grow into the boy whose adventure we are on.
The boy in Windows also gently, subtly evokes headlines in recent years of young boys of color in hoodies being mistaken for threats they are not. And in doing so, offers us, the readers, a meditation on what it means for our children to be safe, free and part of a community.
Windows shares with us the best, most hopeful version of this: a boy and his dog enjoying their neighborhood, being privy to sunsets, dance parties, dinners, hugs, and finally, returning home safely to the family that loves him.
Buy this book:
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Reviewed by: Jane Smith