________________ CM . . . . Volume xxi Number 25 . . . . March 6, 2015


Mr. Jacobsonís Window.

Deborah Froese.
Winnipeg, MB: Peanut Butter Press, 2014.
32 pp., hardcover, $19.95.
ISBN 978-1-927735-04-6.

Grades 1-5 / Ages 6-10.

Review by Rob Bittner.

**Ĺ /4


Every evening just before supper, Emily Ann and Kooky strolled to the end of the block and back. Emily Ann especially enjoyed those walks in winter when windows glowed like warm gold drops against the velvet sky. Even her dull old apartment block looked like a castle when all the lights were on. Emily Ann admired her palace until her fingers, which were always bare, turned numb from the cold.


internal artEmily Ann loves her home, and she loves wandering the streets of her community, looking into the windows of her neighbours, enjoying the warmth and familiarity that she sees. One day, however, as she is walking around with her cat, she notices a silhouette in a window, a silhouette which appears particularly frightening to her: ďAs he leaned toward the glass, shadows clouded his face and dove into a ferocious scowl that seemed to leap out at Emily Ann.Ē Once she realizes who the person behind the shadow is, however, she begins to calm down and realize that Mr. Jacobson isnít nearly as frightening as she first thought.

     The plot of the book isnít overly complex and will likely appeal to many younger audiences, even if the particular subject matter is over the heads of young readers. Older audiences will understand the subtleties of the story, including the undertones of racism and misunderstanding that plague Mr. Jacobsonís acceptance within the Jewish community in which he and Emily Ann live. The illustrations are busy at times, but they bring forward the overtones of music and art and emotion that come along with the history of Judaism being explored in the book.

     I like the colour palate, and I also enjoy the odes to Emily Annís love of her pet cat. Though the perspective in a number of illustrations gives Emily Ann a rather strange appearance, the overall text will give some readers a number of things to like. I would consider this book to be of interest to some readers, and some collections may benefit from the addition of this book; others may not find the book going out due to the artistic style (though this may be a personal bias.)


Rob Bittner is a graduate of the MA in Childrenís Literature program at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. He is currently a PhD student in Gender, Sexuality, and Womenís Studies at Simon Fraser University.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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