Adjusting to life in a new city is tough. When a young boy moves from the countryside, everyone around him seems so unfriendly. Lonely and homesick, he sits on a bench outside his new apartment block and watches the busy urban lives going on behind the lit windows. The daily tribulations of a writer, a cook, a gardener, a pianist and an energetic family are a few of the stories that unfold as he looks on. Gradually the boy begins to interact with the people around him and decides to throw a big party to bring all the neighbours together....
This is a heartwarming tale about fitting in and making friends, packed with hilarious details that will keep children young and old entertained for hours.
Aart Jan Venema is a Dutch illustrator whose editorial work has featured in The Guardian, the FT, Wall Street Journal, Green Man Festival, Science, ZEIT and many more. He is also the winner of the World Illustration Award, 2017. This is his first book.
KIRKUS STARRED REVIEW: Deeply colored illustrations are quirky and cartoony offering plenty to look at. Readers can spin their own stories about the characters as they hunt for objects and people, named in the verses. The story brings the many characters together to share a dinner party, with a message of friendship between diverse people, but it's the artist's weirdly funny sensibility that shines out of every page.
SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEW: For those children who have had to move away from friends, Night Windows will touch their heart. Told in lyrical rhyme with a sing-song quality to the text, the story captures all the emotions a child feels at having to leave behind the familiar for a new and scary place. But the book also captures a child's sense of adventure at discovering his new home and meeting new friends. Aart Jan Venema's illustrations use bold colors that are chaotic and strange, like the city and the people they represent.
CHILDREN'S BOOK & MEDIA REVIEW: Night Windows is a unique blend of a traditional picture book with a beginning-middle-end story, and a search-and-find book. Each page of this book is a delightful feast for the eyes with countless small details just waiting to be devoured. The bright, kaleidoscopic illustrations succeed at depicting the lively stories going on behind each window. As the tenants start to mingle, the scenes get even more colorful and exciting, aiding in the delivery of the book's simple message of the magic of stepping outside one's comfort zone.
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