The Hello, Goodbye Window

A book about special visits with grandparents

The Hello, Goodbye Window
by Norton Juster and Chris Raschka

The Hello, Goodbye Window, told in the voice of a little girl, is all about her special visits with her grandparents. Not only is it written in a child’s voice, but the illustrations are also very colorful and somewhat rudimentary like a child might draw, so it’s especially fun to read with children. The kitchen window is where they greet each other and say goodbye, but it is also a special window through which she watches everyday events with a sense of imaginative wonder. I love how she describes her grandparents- you can tell that everything they do is amazing to her (“(Poppy can play Oh Susannah) slow or fast or he can play it sitting down or standing up.”) and it reminds me of how I felt about my grandparents when I was a young child. 

Teachers: This book is great to use as a mentor text or read-aloud in any of these units:

  • Personal Narrative Writing
  • Realistic Fiction
  • Families

Parents: Use this book to help your child make personal connections to what they read.  Making connections is a very important reading strategy that deepens comprehension. Readers need to be able to relate to the characters in order to fully understand their actions, and while it may seem second-nature to us as adults, many children need extra practice thinking about their personal connections to a story.

After reading, try asking the following questions:

  • What are some of the things that the little girl likes doing at her grandparents’ house?
  • Who is a special friend or family member that you like to visit? What do you like to do at their house?
  • Does the grandma or grandpa remind you of anyone you know? How are they similar? How are they different?
  • Do you like to do any of the same things that the little girl likes to do? What are some ways that you two are similar? How are you and the little girl different?

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