Time of Wonder

by Robert McCloskey

Hardcover, 1985



Call number




Viking Books for Young Readers (1957), Edition: 1st, 64 pages


Follows the activities of two children spending their summer vacation on an island off the coast of Maine.

User reviews

LibraryThing member satyridae
This is the very first book I remember, and when I read it, the voice in my head is my father's. It's also the very first book that I read all by myself. I don't remember learning *to* read, but this book is wrapped up in the magic of reading for me. And its magnificence is perhaps one of the
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reasons I'm the reader I am today. McCloskey's words and watercolors combine to make magic. His turns of phrase are memorable and delightful. The feelings of a childhood's summer are herein captured with both playfulness and gravitas. There's a hurricane, and there are bellyflops. There are cranky old men and cranky old seabirds. It's all happening here, all the time. And it's always waiting for me to come back.
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LibraryThing member lycomayflower
Blueberries for Sal and especially One Morning in Maine were favorites for me as a child, but I'd never come across this one. The illustrations are watercolors and only recognizably McCloskey's style near the end when we see the characters at home. The illustrations are, however, still lovely. The
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text is dense and often flowery and abstract, but eventually I warmed to it a bit. It's about the beauty of nature on a Maine island in summertime and about the peace (and sometimes violence) and wonder of it. Not sure how much it would resonant with children (especially younger ones), but it was a pleasant read for me as an adult.
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LibraryThing member BookConcierge
On an island off the coast of Maine, in Penobscott Bay, two girls and their parents find much to enjoy about the sea, the shore, and the forests. Even a hurricane-force gale is a source of awe and wonder. But when summer is over, it’s time to pack up and move back to the city.

McCloskey is
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probably best known for Make Way for Ducklings, but I think I like this book even more. Here the reader explores an island with two girls. We watch a summer shower approach, and get wet when it begins to sprinkle; on a foggy morning we watch the lobster fishermen going out to check their pots. Ferns unfold under the trees, and when the fog lifts we go for a sail in the bay, accompanied by dolphins who frolick next to our sailboat. We join other kids on the beach, diving into the water, building forts and sand castles. We enjoy a summer unfettered by schedules or school work, exploring the natural world.

Of the Caldecott winners I’ve read so far, this has the absolute best illustrations. They are simply beautiful – in color, detail, scope, feel. Some are bright at a summer day, others muted by “fog.” The stars sparkle in the night sky, and the waves pound the shore during a storm. I particularly loved how McClosky showed a coming rain cloud approaching across the bay, shading one island after another. Just lovely images.
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LibraryThing member macfly_17
I really enjoyed this story about a family's summer vacation on an island in Maine. The illustrations are so rich and meaningful that they truly enhance the story.
LibraryThing member psjones
Wonderful Vocabulary. The book is about a family who lives on the coast during the summer. Throughout the story there is wonderful vocabulary that describes outdoors and nature.
LibraryThing member pvhslibrarian
Booklist 12/1/1986

In McCloskey's popular, classic story, children learn about nature on their island home off the coast of Maine. They see changing seasons and survive a hurricane as it runs its course.

And, as The Horn Book wrote on the front cover flap, 'The author has succeeded in transferring
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his love for the Maine islands to the printed page and as you listen to his words and look at his pictures you feel that every day and every season is a 'time of wonder.' This is a [book] of great beauty.'
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LibraryThing member carebear0811
I really enjoyed this book. The pictures were beautiful and the story was too. This book is about the beach in all its glories. It describes the beach in the summer time when a family is vacationing there. Some things I really enjoyed about this story is all the descriptive words. You could do some
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fun mini lessons with this book. This book has a lot of beach and sea words that some children might not get at all. I am looking forward to bringing this book in my classroom!
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LibraryThing member wrightk
Time of Wonder was the 1957 Caldecott Winner for children's books. I had read many Robert McCloskey books growing up including One Morning in Maine and Blueberries for Sal so it was fun to visit this classic as well, still in print after all these years. Although a bit long for a children's book,
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the illustrations are beautiful and the text flows in a way in which is reads well. The story follows a family spending their summer vacation on an island with everything that brings. Its carefree play breaks to the fear and anxiety surrounding a pending hurricane. The preparations, way the parents distract the children, and the following questions allow for discussion and resolution of similar fears for children. A definite recommendation.
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LibraryThing member aflanig1
A picture book about a young boy's summer in Maine
LibraryThing member tararamos
This story is about a family vacationing on an island. The two young girls describe what they do from early morning till night fall. Then a storm begins to brew and they must make preparations for the coming storm. The storm comes and the next morning they do some more exploring. Eventually they
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must leave, summer is over. This would be a great book to read at the beginning of the year. Possiblly use this as a example for the children to write about their summer.
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LibraryThing member btivis
Time of Wonder is a wonderful story about family vacationing on the waters in Maine. It tells of their activities throughout the entire vacation. Even thought it is a wonderful story, I feel the artwork is the strength of this book. The beautiful colors mixed with the relaxing scenes makes this an
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enjoyable read.
I would love to use this book in my classroom. I think you could use for an example in writing class. Students could use it as a reference to write about a vacation they have taken. I would also use it for a creative writing assignment. I would have them try to incorporate the pictures into the story, but they would have to do this by adding in descriptions.
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LibraryThing member JPercival
Summary: The book Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey is about spending the summer at Penobscot Bay, Maine. McCloskey goes into great detail about the daily adventures at Penobscot Bay, from sailing in the bay with the porpoises to experiencing a hurricane.The story and illustrations are so detailed
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i would imagine McCloskey spent a lot of summers at the bay.

Personal Reaction: This is a very good book. I really enjoyed the laid back style of writing. This would be a good book to read over a few days right after recess to calm the students down. The colors of the illustrations were very calming.

Classroom Extension: 1) This book would be a good lead into a science assignment. The teacher could use the animals from the bay to teach about ecosystem and the food chain. 2) Have students find Penobscot Bay on a map and name three islands close by.
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LibraryThing member elpowers
Love this book! Beautiful pictures, rich language, and information about the natural world. LOVE IT! Read it out loud and talk about it.
LibraryThing member Bethany1221
Time of Wonder is a great book. The illustrations and detailed sentences in the story make you feel as if you are there on the island. If I closed my eyes I could feel like I was there experiencing what the children were feeling throughout the story. Great book.
LibraryThing member eecnelsen
This book is great to explain life and weather patterns on an island. There is a hurricane, also dolphins in the water. The book is very detailed with wild life, boats, and weather. The illistrations are really good, they make me want to really look at them to understand the story.
LibraryThing member ashoemak
Two children describe the sights and wonders of their summer vacation home on an island in Maine. This is a beautiful book with a light and breezy feeling.
LibraryThing member cspine
Story of a summer spent by the water on the bay told in poem form. Fantastic sensory imagery and repetition used. At one point, a storm brews and lots of suspense is built before it finally washes over and leaves a peaceful aftermath. Told in 2nd person (you) which allows reader to become more
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invested in it. I would definitely add this to my personal library.
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LibraryThing member dukefan86
The illustrations in this book are dreamy and gorgeous! I love the colors, as well as how the clouds, water, and weather are depicted. They're a really nice complement to the story.
LibraryThing member Phill242
Caldecott winner, 1958
a celebration of nature and the endless adventures it can provide for a young boy and his sister
LibraryThing member Amanda.C
Summery: is like a insert-self type of book. It talks about you feeling the weather, or what you might see.
My View:This is different then some books I've read. I did read a few "choose your on path" books but that would be the closes to this book.I did like it though.
1> Talk about what
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they see and feel. maybe even play "I spy"
2> have pictures and see what the children think they would feel if they was in the picture
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LibraryThing member larasimmons2
I picked this book up as I was re-shelving at the library. The draw to this picturebook was mostly because I had enjoyed a lot of his other books. The main theme of the book was to portray the enjoyable aspects of summer, but also the effects of a hurricane.

I liked this book. It has sort of
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distracted-by-shiny-object feel to it. For example McCloskey asks the reader to see the water or feel the wind. His descriptive text almost allows the reader to feel involved in the children's summer. As an adult, I felt I was almost in the mind of a young child. On the flip side, at times I felt there was a convoluted progression of the story.

The illustrations are also enjoyable. They are simple, yet vibrant. They pair well with the text. For example when color of the water is mentioned, the illustrations really portray a fun, vibrant blue. Another example would be the hurricane and descriptions of the wind being integrated in the pictures. Overall, an enjoyable read.
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LibraryThing member bp0128bd
Caldecott winner, 1958
a celebration of nature and the endless adventures it can provide for a young boy and his sister
LibraryThing member kmooney
Robert McCloskey is the end all be all children's author and illustrator! One Morning in Maine is a great read-aloud. My children love chanting the lyrics to the song in the story! It is a fun read under the covers with a flash light during a thunderstorm. Many fond memories with my three daughters!
LibraryThing member MaeganA
This book puts you right in the story. The descriptions pull you in and make you feel as if you were there. The feelings of the cool fog, warm sun, hearing the porpoise splash, seeing mother seals nursing their babies, salty water splashing against your skin, airplanes, strong winds,
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storms, finally calming winds. The storm ends. You fall asleep. Then next days are cleaning up all the destruction from the storm. The summer ends and you go back home.

Personal reaction:
This book was very long and wordy. I lost interest several times. I am not sure how a child who is not able to relate to the events in this book would be able to stay focused without putting it down. I think I would be more interested if I could relate to beaches and hurricanes.

Classroom extension ideas:
1. Personally unless I move somewhere closer to a beach or the ocean, I wouldn't read this or use this in my classroom. (Unless we are discussing different places)
2. This would be one to read around summertime, either right before or after summer.
3. We could do science projects with water and experiments to see what happens in a hurricane.
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LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
Well, um, I dunno. I just didn't enjoy it at all. I don't like McCloskey in color. I don't like 2nd-person narration. I didn't feel like I knew the characters or the setting (and I have lived near there, actually). I was bored. Sorry.


Caldecott Medal (Medal Winner — 1958)
Ohioana Book Award (Winner — 1958)




Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

12.26 inches


0670715123 / 9780670715121

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