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Time of Wonder (Picture Puffins) Paperback – June 15, 1989

4.7 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert McCloskey (1914-2003) wrote and illustrated some of the most honored and enduring children's books ever published. He grew up in Hamilton, Ohio, and spent time in Boston, New York, and ultimately Maine, where he and his wife raised their two daughters. The first ever two-time Caldecott Medal winner, for Make Way for Ducklings and Time of Wonder, McCloskey was also awarded Caldecott Honors for Blueberries for Sal, One Morning in Maine, and Journey Cake, Ho! by Ruth Sawyer.  He was declared a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2000.  You can see some of his best-loved characters immortalized as statues in Boston's Public Garden and Lentil Park in Hamilton, Ohio.

From AudioFile

Cherished for his picture books, Blueberries for Sal and Make Way for Ducklings, McCloskey often wrote about the coast of Maine and the wonders of its shore and islands. Tracy Lord captures the wide-eyed delight of young children when they discover sea shells, flowers and wildlife. The short program could be further enjoyed with the book at hand as the narration is over too soon. R.F.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series, and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. Pre-order the official script book today. Kindle | Hardcover

Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 0940 (What's this?)
  • Series: Picture Puffins
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books (June 15, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140502017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140502015
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Robert McCloskey's "Time of Wonder" is just that--an examination of a wondrous summer spent in Maine. He follows two sisters (and nominally, their parents and friends) as they spend their days sailing, swimming, battening down for a big storm, and so on. Nothing of great import happens, but McCloskey has a lovely, calming way of relating their story so that we feel the sisters' closeness, their connection to their environment, and their childlike ability to find beauty and interest in nearly everything.
McCloskey's book was first published in 1957, and the illustrations show this--no life vests in a lot of the boating pictures, children swimming without being watched over by a lifeguard or adult, and so on. Still, that's not a bad thing--it shows the protective, exclusionary nature of childhood and the risks children take without even being fully aware that they ARE taking risks.
The illustrations are lovely. These paintings depict Maine as being beautiful without neglecting to show the dangerous side of coastal life as well (witness the storm scenes towards the end of the book). There is a caressing, rhythmic feel to the text which subtly imitates the tidal pull of the ocean. What a perfect gift for anyone who vacations in Maine--or wants to.
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By A Customer on February 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I received this book from my parents in about 1970. I finally visited Maine in 1997 and I cried because the images Mr. McCloskey painted of spring, summer, and fall in Maine, that I'd read so many years before, were so accurate. Rarely has an author captured natural beauty and people's enjoyment of it so eloquently and so clearly. I grew up with the Ducklings and Sal, but this book is the best. It is one I hope to grow old with, and I hope my 4 month old son will enjoy it as much as I did and still do. BUY IT!
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Format: Hardcover
Time of Wonder is Robert McCloskey's lyrical tribute to the joys of being young in the summertime. The setting is his beloved Maine coast, on Penobscot Bay. The story builds around the approach of the rain, the cycle of the summer, the transition from morning to dark in a single day, and a hurricane. As wonderful as the story is, the illustrations are the highlight of this delightful book. They capture stunning panoramas, wind-swept moments, and gay times in the sun equally well in free flowing watercolors that are as fluid as the wind or the ocean. This book was awarded the Caldecott Medal for the outstanding quality of its illustrations in 1958.
Two unnamed girls are overlooking Penobscot Bay, watching the rain form in the distance . . . until they themselves are drenched!
Next, a full day evolves from the typical summer fog with sidelights about porpoises, lobstering, gulls, cormorants, the forest and its trees and fiddle-head ferns. Finally, the fog burns off and the scene shifts to bees, hummingbirds, other birds singing, sail boats, fishing boats, seals, the beach, rocks and children playing. Then, as dusk settles in, an owl, a heron, eider ducks, fishhawks, a crab, a rowboat, a flashlight and the stars frame the experience. At each moment, nature holds great adventures and mysteries for the girls to explore and exult in.
A seaplane symbolizes the coming and going from the area. The bulk of the people and animals are summer visitors.
Suddenly, everyone realizes a big storm is coming.
"We're going to have some weather.
It's a-coming!
She's gonna blow.
With the next shift of the tide."
There are boats to get ready. Windows need to be secured. People have to go inside. Once there, the rain and wind can still blow their way in.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
The story, such as it is, follows a family in their summer home on an island in the ocean. Mostly following the children, the story reflects on the wonders of nature itself. The kids walk out into the mist on warm summery mornings. They leap from high ocean rocks, and sun themselves as the rocks grow warm. They sail a boat at night (they've fairly trusting parents, I'd wager) to spy on deep water crabs. Eventually, a hurricane comes to batter the family in their sturdy little home. In the end, the family must return to their real house/life/school and wait to return to the island another year. As they leave, the narrator opines that such moments as these make living a real time of wonder. A time for pondering things like, "I wonder where hummingbirds go in a hurricane".

Working in a medium unlike his usual pencils and inks, McCloskey seemed to draw the images in this book from a very private source. Though you may never have been in a summer home such as this or experienced moments like the ones the children go through, you feel the nostalgia embedded in this story. I may not have ever summered in places where I could make forts out of huge sea stones, but after reading this book I know what it would be like. People may say books such as this don't move quickly enough for kids today. Don't believe it. Kids are kids and good books are good books. The child that appreciates Elmo's World is still going to feel a sense of (for lack of a better word) wonder when they stare at the picture of the hurricane blowing the house's inhabitants in all directions. Kids interested in technical ship jargon and the process of buying supplies before a big storm will be fascinated by this tale as well. Some stories do not age. Others, age in such a way that they become deep and full-bodied like a good fine wine. "A Time of Wonder" falls into the latter category. Take a moment to enjoy it fully.
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