Time of Wonder
Just the turn of a few pages will reveal why McCloskey received the Caldecott Medal for this masterpiece of a picture book. Beautiful, expressive paintings are spread across page after page as McCloskey displays his appreciation for the islands that dot the coast of Maine. But just as noteworthy, the beautifully crafted syntax is a treat to read aloud - full of alliteration, assonance and a rhythm that even builds as the winds blow. He must have enjoyed writing this! The young girl in the story (an older version of Sal, from Blueberries for Sal) spends a summer of exploration with her family on one of the islands. She discovers foggy mornings, porpoises, hummingbirds and gulls, and all sorts of wonders. “In the afternoon when the tide is out they build castles out of rocks where they had belly-whoppered and dog-paddled during the morning.” Later the family experiences an approaching hurricane as they listen to the bell-buoy tolling, tolling in the night. “Now is the time for being watchful - Now is the time for being prepared - This is no time for seabird sense of humor - All the talk is about hundred pound anchors, one-inch chain, and will it hold?”
Note: Reading the description of the storm leads one to believe that McCloskey has shared an experience he has had more than once. And then the treasures found after the storm are keepsakes for his children to pack up and take home until their next visit.
Does this remind you of the family trips to the Outer Banks? Such fun memories---minus the hurricanes. Let’s plan another trip!
Gift with: a beach towel, sand bucket, treasure box, journal, flower press, bird identification book, weather vane, or boat book.
Gift to: neighbor from Maine or a family who has vacationed along the East Coast.
Occasion: a summer vacation or trip to the lake.