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Customer Review

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time keeps on slipping, April 14, 2004
This review is from: Time of Wonder (Viking Kestrel picture books) (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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Review Details

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Reviewer

E. R. Bird
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: Manhattan, NY

Top Reviewer Ranking: 447