Review: Windows By Guest & Bentley

We all wish this pandemic was over. And we all definitely thought it would be by now. But even as cases creep up yet again in so many places around the world, we’re all still navigating this time and it’s hard to put into words all the emotions these past two years continue to bring. Enter lovely books like this one. A story about the distance we all have kept and occasionally are still needing to keep each other safe. A story about missing people, missing familiar sights and faces, and how we will celebrate together when it is finally behind us. Take a look at Windows by Patrick Guest, illustrated by Jonathan Bentley, 2020.

Boy looking out an apartment window at a mostly empty city view.

This book is short and sweet and depending on the day, it will encourage a good cry like it has many times in me.

Child looking out a suburban window at quiet houses and yards.

It follows many children looking out their windows, processing the strangeness of staying inside. They see things missing in their normal views. They watch the weather and the clouds and wonder.

View looking down at a tree on a city street where a nurse is waving up hello wearing a mask.

And then they notice different things out the windows, like essential workers waving hello, friends sending messages, music playing, and teddy bears and rainbows appearing.

Spread full of 8 windows of different sizes and colors with rainbows and/or bears in them.

They are curious, but also nervous. And then they see beloved family members through the windows, keeping their distance, but reminding them that it will all be over someday and they will hug again. Grab the tissues.

Two children look out different windows from behind seeing a sheet like a ghost floating by and a hat floating by.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of window illustrations and paintings. This book had my interest from the title alone. I hate that this book is necessary, even now two years later. But I’m so grateful for it. Even when we are through this, in big ways or small ways, books like this help us remember. We need books like this to help us all process the trauma this world event has brought. So many of us felt unprepared for this pandemic and shocked to realize that it has occurred in history before. Perhaps with more books like this and Outside, Inside we’ll process it better, prepare for it again in the future, and pass on the wisdom we’ve hopefully gleaned from getting through it together.

Spread full of adults hugging little kids happily.

Whatever the reason you may need this book, I hope it comforts and encourages you. I hope it reminds you to look out the window for joy and hope and that “lovely, happy day when all the world can dance and kiss” again.

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