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.
One Morning in Maine: Sitting down with a Robert McCloskey picture book is like sitting down with an old friend. Every child should experience a morning like little Sal did in McCloskey’s nostalgic telling of his daughter’s summer morning in Maine. Waking up, Sal discovers her first loose tooth,
“Oh dear, this cannot be true!” Of course, Sal thinks this will now keep her from going on an adventure with her dad to Buck’s Harbor. After finding her dad digging clams down by the shore, she wiggles her tooth for him and asks whether clams, loons, gulls,or seals have teeth. As they continue digging in the mud, Sal exclaims,”It’s gone! Some clam will find my tooth and get what I wished for!” Before she has time to worry though, dad, Sal, and baby sister are in the rowboat and off to buy milk and supplies at Buck’s Harbor across the way. McCloskey’s ability to transform an unexpected moment in time into a memorable event is his gift to readers. His beautiful illustrations showcase his artwork, and each scene is full of detail whether he is sketching a chenille bedspread, the nuts and bolts in the repair shop, or the serene lakeside shore. Check out page 58-59 where baby sister spies the cat under the bench or page 60 as Sal gets her reward (and baby sister drops the spark plug).
Note: This picture book received the Caldecott Honor Award
I understand you just lost a tooth! That is exciting! Here is a new book for you. This little girl just lost her tooth too---but she really, really lost it! Hope you like this story. Love you lots.
Gift with: a little box for first lost tooth, carton of ice cream, spark plug for a little boy, or clam shells.
Gift to: little ones who lose a tooth, anyone who has dug for clams, neighbor from Maine, or a family vacationing on the East Coast.
Occasion: losing a tooth, summer vacation, first trip in a rowboat, or a trip to Maine.
Blueberry Sal: “Kerplink, Kerplank, Kerplunk,” three famous words emerge from this picture book for young readers. Little Sal and her mother and Little Bear and his mother are off on similar adventures on Blueberry Hill gathering blueberries for the winter. In this heart-warming parallel-plot, Little Sal and Little Bear join up with the wrong mothers and find themselves totally mixed up. McCloskey’s use of heavy navy blue outlines contrasts with thin delicate lines in his beautiful double- page illustrations. So naturally the reader scans from far left to far right as the story unfolds. However, the inside cover is where the reading really begins as we see Little Sal and her mother in the kitchen bottling blueberries. Blueberry Hill is even seen in a glimpse out the kitchen window.
Note: McCloskey was the first artist to receive the Caldecott Medal (illustration) twice. McCloskey’s daughter Sally served as the model for 3 year old Sal right down to her Mary Jane shoes.
My Little Fran,
This is one of my favorite books. I’ll read it to you, so call me when you have your jammies on.
I read this to your mom when she was your age. She loved to help in the kitchen just like you do. Love you, miss you,
Your mom makes great blueberry muffins and she always shares with me. This is one of my favorite books and I wanted to share it with you!
With love, Kathy
Gift with: a tin pail, cuddly teddy bear, or juicy blueberries to share.
Gift to: a grandchild, new mom, or neighbor grandma.
Occasion: summer fruit-picking days, trip to grandparents, trip to the mountains, or baking days with mom.
Hardcover: 55 pages
Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.4 x 11.6 inches