Thursday, September 11, 2008

Look Out The Window by Joan Walsh Anglund

The other day while browsing in my local library I came upon several stories that looked familiar and I believe were ones I read or were read to me as a child. Although my daughter is still unable to sit for long stories I decided to go ahead and check them out. At the very least we could read through the longer ones over the coarse of several days.

The first book I want to review is one of the shorter stories (35 pages, including pictures) which is Joan Walsh Anglund's Look Out the Window.

This story, published in 1959, is a wonderful little book with rhythmic text and delicate water color pictures. Although the book is aimed at children in the 4-8 year old range, it is consie enough and has such beautiful pictures that it works as a read aloud to children as young as a year old. (My daughter is 14 months and she has happily sat through the reading of this book twice now.)
The title of the book comes from the very first line of the book: "Look out the window... What do you see? Houses... lots of houses. High dark houses with shades pulled down and iron fences all around... or squatty happy houses with doors and windows open to the sun... or tiny teeny houses with lace curtains and a neat row of tulips along the path... But of all the different houses in this whole wide world... there is no other house that is quite like your house."

As you may guess Mrs. Anglund uses the rest of her story to remind the reader (i.e. a child) that of all the pets and people in the world there are none quite as special as their own cat or their own dog, their own Mommy and Daddy, and of course themselves -- they are very special too.

Unfortunately it appears that only about nine of Mrs. Anglund's 25 books are still in print. But you still might be able to find Look Out the Window at your library. However if you do not, copies are available through Amazon and Alibris. Also, keep your eyes open at used book sales, particularly library sales since that is where a lot of these books turn up.

For more information about Joan Anglund or her books click here.


Carrie said...

That looks super cute! Thanks for the recommendation. I will indeed keep my eye open for them.

Anonymous said...

I remember her pictures, and recently read an article about her (in "Home Companion" I think) which was very interesting.