Somerville just got its very own picture book.
“Windows” is a Somerville story, through and through—not only is the book set in Somerville, but it’s published by Somerville’s Candlewick Press and was written and illustrated by two women who used to live in the city.
The book follows a young boy as he walks around the city and imagines what he might see through nearby windows: “There might be a hug, or a piano, and someone might be learning to dance.”
“I definitely wanted to capture the feeling of Somerville in the story,” illustrator E.B. Goodale says. “For the little boy and some of the detail characters in the book I used my neighborhood specifically as inspiration and the kids in my neighborhood. I lived on a very lively little street, and so I really wanted to capture that feeling in the book.”
The story conveys a sense of safety and belonging, which author Julia Denos experienced firsthand while she was an intern at Candlewick Press years ago.
“The initial idea was that feeling of walking past little homes in neighborhoods and seeing all the different families and feeling really cozy about it, but also just dreaming about my future home and my future family and what that would look like. Feeling a little homesick, too, and so I think it provided some level of comfort to see families of all different kinds enjoying themselves and being together,” Denos says.
The city is embracing the Somerville story—the Somerville Public Library hosted a story time in late October where Mayor Joseph Curtatone read “Windows” aloud.