Cover image for Window
Physical Description:
32 p. ;

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A young girl is walking home from school in a big city. As she gazes up at window after window in the buildings on her route all different shapes and sizes she imagines the most fantastic goings-on behind each one, which we can see by opening the gatefold. A tropical jungle. A whale in a bathtub. Vampires playing badminton. Her fantasies know no bounds. Until, behind the very last window, we discover the girl back home in her own room, where the toys surrounding her look strangely familiar.

Author Notes

Marion Arbona is the award-winning illustrator of numerous children's books. She lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Marion Arbona is the award-winning illustrator of numerous children's books. She lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Reviews 2

Kirkus Review

Braids flying, bespectacled Martha heads home from school, vividly imagining what's behind the windows lining an urban street.While Martha, looking up, traverses each otherwise blank, white verso page by degrees, each recto's deceptively staid, delicately rendered window "opens" along a centered gatefold, revealing multifarious black-and-white scenes with decidedly surreal touches. Behind a ledge with drooping potted plants, a veritable torrid zone thrives as a gardener tends its elaborate flora and fauna. A shuttered window hides vampires playing badminton among a colony of bats. A dainty fringed shade obscures a woman straight from Grimm, reading 101 Ways To Cook a Child as her cauldron bubbles. (Her intended victim, ostensibly having consumed the conspicuously included How To Escape, bolts right out of the picture.) French Canadian author/illustrator Arbona's wordless tableaux include magical mushrooms, bioluminescent sea creatures, a sleeping giant, and a cozy library full of reading animals. Kids will appreciate the use of "almost 20" felt pens for these pictures, whose fine lines, crosshatching, and infinitesimal dots evoke Edward Gorey. The visual mayhem, meanwhile, channels Jon Agee, Fernando Krahn, and even Mad magazine. The 13th gatefold lands Martha at home in a cozy bedroom surrounded by objects that were transmogrified in earlier illustrations and where, flopped on the floor, the child draws. Most humans are as white as the page; people of color are tinted gray.Arbona's teeming scenes should inspire both close observation and new compositions by young readers/artists. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

As a young girl walks home from school along busy city streets, she passes many windows and imagines all manner of extraordinary things that might be happening inside the buildings. Behind a round porthole, she envisions a whale swimming in a bathtub; a shuttered opening conceals a room full of vampires playing badminton; and a scene of a woman reading about cooking children includes a large bubbling cauldron, an empty cage, and the foot of an escaping child. Entirely wordless, Arbona's felt-pen illustrations are whimsical in tone, with intricate details reminiscent of the work of Shaun Tan. Most spreads feature the girl on the left, set against a white background; the right page displays a solitary window that opens with a double gatefold exposing the interior of the envisaged room. This is a title that demands multiple viewings, especially once youngsters note the final spread, depicting the girl's own bedroom casement, which unfolds to reveal a room full of toys and accessories found in her previous visualizations.