Littleton neighbors on their daily walks look forward to passing the corner of South Pierce Street and West Walker Avenue on Wednesdays. In the house on this corner, a small friendly face smiles through a kitchen picture window and waves.
“Our mail lady comes and waves to him,” said Elizabeth Albright, who lives in the house. “The snowplow driver this morning could see him in the window and they were waving back and forth to each other… The school bus and the kids, I mean everybody waves — they all know that Andre’s in the window.”
Albright started babysitting 2-year-old Andre last August, when her neighbor posted on NextDoor asking for someone to watch her son on Wednesdays.
Seven months later, Albright visited Andre’s preschool to read “Andre’s Window,” a children’s book she wrote about the child and his relationship with the world.
“I've kept journals my whole life, but I've never written about anybody else or anything else,” Albright said. “If you could see this little boy look out this window, you would know that it's the cutest thing you've ever seen, so you just kind of want to share it with other people.”
The book focuses on the people and things Andre sees on the street, with an emphasis on colors.
“It got to be where I’d sit in my rocking chair and he’d look out the window and we’d talk about colors and bunnies and puppies being walked and the trucks and the school bus,” Albright said. “I just thought, ‘You know what, I'm going to write a book about this little boy looking out this window and make it a book about colors for kids.’”
Each spread of the book focuses on a different color, represented in the objects and people passing by. There is a yellow school bus, a green bicycle, a red truck and more.
The book also includes cameos from Albright’s grandchildren and another child from the neighborhood.
Nikki DeLaTorre, Andre’s mother, said she was honored when Albright asked to write a book about her son.
“That's so amazing that somebody would want to write a book about your child,” she said. “I love the book… it's like, very simple in its writing, but it's bold with pictures, you know, so I think it would catch a child pretty well.”
Even more than the book, DeLaTorre said she’s grateful for Albright and her husband for letting Andre into their lives.
“(It’s) such an honor, such a blessing that this family who never even knew this kid just took him in like their own,” she said. “They take such good care of him — we're so blessed, like I have no idea how I got so blessed.”
“Andre’s Window” can be purchased on Amazon for $9.99. Albright hopes for the book to be in elementary schools and hospitals across the world, especially in infant intensive care units. She said all profits made from the book sales will go towards the purchase of books to be donated to hospitals, daycares and schools.
For Albright, Andre is the reason behind it all.
“I think I just want him to grow up and remember how special he is,” she said. “I really did it for him. He is just a special, special little boy. And I want him to know how incredible we think he is.”