Book Review: Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey

Time of Quiet Wonder by Robert McCloskyRecently, some friends and I were chatting about point of view in literature and how rarely you see examples of Second Person. When I recalled this story and mentioned that it was the only successful use of Second Person that I could recall in a children’s book, all I got were blank stares. Nobody had heard of it! Although it was published in 1958, it was written by Robert McCloskey and won a Caldecott. I quickly realized that most parents today have not enjoyed this book with their children. I thought I should share our love for Time of Wonder so that perhaps you, too, may fall in love with the incredible imagery the book creates.

Taking place in a fishing community in Maine, it follows a young girl through her summer vacation on Maine’s many small islands. It draws beautiful parallels between the flow of life and the changing of seasons, weather, and nature. It is lengthy-63 pages-but the descriptions of the ocean conjure a childhood longing like no other. It is a perfect summertime read, and we often choose it for bedtime because the words create a peaceful energy that is perfect for that time of day. I actually prefer this book to Blueberries for Sal and Make Way for Ducklings, two of McCloskey’s higher-esteemed publications, and my 9-year-old daughter has deemed this book her favorite book of all time.

I should add that since this conversation I have done some research and there are several other great children’s books written in Second Person. They all appear to be instructional (not the unique style of Time of Wonder) but we have read, and loved, several of them.

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