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The Sense of Wonder

4.39  ·  Rating Details ·  853 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
An inspiring meditation by one of the best nature writers of the twentieth century, richly illustrated by lush, color photography


Rachel Carson shares her prescription for developing a lifelong respect for nature in this deeply personal essay, lavishly expanded and paced by Nick Kelsh’s vibrant photography in this posthumously published edition. Using her personal adventur
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ebook, 111 pages
Published April 19th 2011 by Open Road Media (first published 1965)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,782)
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Jim
This is written to/about her nephew & the sense of wonder she enjoyed with him exploring nature when he was a child. According to the forward, she intended to expand on it, but I'm glad she didn't. She repeated herself a bit as it was. Excellent advice on introducing a child to nature, though. Something every adult who guides a child should read.
Rachel Terry
Jan 24, 2009 Rachel Terry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this as I sat outside at the playground on a 65-degree January day. It doesn't seem right to read it inside. Carson's writing is so beautiful, and her descriptions of things as minute as green aphids and sand dollars are so majestic that the book made me want to pay much closer attention to everything around me. The Sense of Wonder is about helping children to see the magic in nature so that when they are older they'll want to learn more about it.
Richard
Jul 25, 2011 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very short memoir that Ms Carson intended to expand but death came before she could. She describes her days and weeks on the Maine seashore and the wonder she felt examining rocks, sand, crabs, stars, clouds. She tries to instill in the reader the responsibility adults have to help children discover the wonder around them. I wish I had read it as a young father. This book is hard to find, but, Amazon has it a paper back and Kindle.
Christopher Matthias
Chills of Delight

Rachel Carson is a master of capturing the reader's attention and holding it while filling them with a yearning for a deep relationship with the natural world. Her writing is simple, unassuming and accessible to a young and open mind as well as an older steadfast hardened reader.
As she strives to instill a lifelong love affair for discovery into young Rodger, she does likewise for the reader fortunate enough to tag along.
A short and simple work worthy of any reader's time.
Nicole
Apr 07, 2016 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible, nonfiction, 2016
This was a lovely little essay about Carson taking her nephew for walks in the woods when he was a very small child. I don't think I've ever read anything by Carson before, and I found her writing to be quite lovely - descriptive without being overly wordy, and you can tell how much she loved being out in nature. I came across this through Audible's new Channels feature, and I would like to read or listen to more of her work.
Debbi
caught this on Audible's new "Channels" feature. It was a lovely memoir from Carson about her walks with her young nephew, starting at around 2years old.
Lindsay
A beautiful reminder to step outside and enjoy the world we live in with our littles.
Esmeralda
Mar 13, 2010 Esmeralda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carson retells developing a relationship with her nephew Roger via experiences in nature. There are rich descriptions of hikes. The latter half of the book advocates a way in teaching which stems out of natural curiosity.

Naming things and knowing lists does not instill motiviation or inspire. Her point is to joyfully share what you enjoy and be sensitive to what someone else wants to take on.

She reminds one not to be lazy. Rain, sleet, snow, thunder, go outside, get dirty and do things that ar
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Katie
Jun 13, 2016 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Sense of Wonder is an essay by Rachel Carson encouraging adults to help kids maintain their sense of wonder and curiosity about the natural world as they grow into adults. She recounts some adventures she has outdoors exploring with her young nephew, the questions he asks, the things they observe, and the things they try to understand. In the edition I read, the essay was accompanied by photographs (from the 60s) of the natural world.

I absolutely loved this book. Carson is an incredible writ
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A
Feb 07, 2016 A rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Luminous.
Greg
Nov 22, 2015 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This essay speaks to me on so many levels. I have always been interested in the idea that children approach the world differently than adults and that the corruption of this natural sensibility seems inevitable in contemporary society. I wonder if cultures that have a strong sense of spirituality connected to nature have this because of their ability, due to circumstance or otherwise, to maintain this sense of wonder trait uncorrupted. As adults, we have to relearn what was once natural and figh ...more
Literary Mama
From "Essential Reading: From a Child's Point of View" by Literary Mama staff:

Transporting us to a new emotion and part of the world, Blog Editor Amanda Jaros offers a peek at the intrinsic value of Mother Nature's gifts: "Nothing is more awe-inspiring than seeing our natural world from a child’s point of view. In her book, The Sense of Wonder, Rachel Carson explores the sea and woods of Maine with her young nephew. She shares how profoundly vital it is for children to encounter nature on their
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Samantha
Mar 25, 2011 Samantha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely beautiful. It made me think of who gave me my sense of wonder in the natural world and how I could pass that on to my children. It also started me thinking about where I can find more of that wonder here in a much more manicured setting than where I grew up. I vowed to be much more creative and get out more. An excellent book.
Koroviev
Mar 21, 2014 Koroviev rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, f

This is a very short essay about maintaining the sense of wonder we are born with. Most of the book is pictures, and there is not much information, but makes for joyful reading. The part I liked the most:

" What is the value of preserving and strengthening this sense of awe andwonder, this recognition of something beyond the boundaries of human existence? ...
I am sure there is something much deeper, something lasting and significant. Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties
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Dana
Sep 20, 2014 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Favorite quote

"A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is often dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughou
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Kerry Kenney
This is an excellent book to give as a family gift. I recieved it as a baby shower present and was delighted with it.
Sarah
Apr 12, 2007 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A stunning book - for both its words and its pictures.
Lovely to share with children.
Meredith Henning
Just picked this up from the hold shelf!
Maureen
Nov 25, 2014 Maureen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rachel Carson wrote "The Sense of Wonder" toward the end of her life. Originally an essay titled “Help your Child to Wonder”, her spare, exquisite prose invites you to a stream-of-consciousness ramble along a northern shore and through the wet Maine woodlands in spring. The accompanying photos are luminous, detailing grass blades and tide pools through a child’s eyes, as the words draw adults along to recapture a long forgotten sense of mystery and awe, to be shared – in turn – with the next gen ...more
Kiwi
Oct 05, 2014 Kiwi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, 2013
2008 Reading: I can't...I'm not sure I'll ever be able to get a proper review out for this. I've been waiting to read 'The Sense of Wonder' for years, somehow, and I finally got to it near the very start of this year. I read it out loud to one of my dear-heart friends as she was packing to head to England for winter/spring/some summer (and I, for the first time in three years, was not headed there for the same time frame).

My dear-heart friend knows me well and has known me well since mid-adolesc
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Jodi
Mar 19, 2012 Jodi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A classic look at the awe-inspiring nature all around us, and the reminder to share this beauty and wonder with children. A couple passages I especially liked: "It occurred to me that if this were a sight that could be seen only once in a century or even once in a human generation, this little headland would be thronged with spectators. But it can be seen many scores of nights in any year, and so the ligths burned in the cottages and the inhabitants probably gave not a thought to the beauty over ...more
Ganesh
The imagery at the beginning of this book is absolutely divine. (You can read the first few pages on amazon.com.)

As I read this book, I remembered how delighted my little cousins and I were years ago when we spotted pale green frog eggs glowing at the bottom of a tiny pond near my house. And I remembered taking walks through forests with men I loved, and I remembered loving them for their sense of wonder for everything wild.

This is my favorite part of Rachel Carson's essay:

"A child's world is
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Mark
Mar 03, 2013 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book, an essay, really, with beautiful photographs interspersed. Carson clearly had some things figured out about introducing children to the natural world, and her advice is equally sound for reengaging with nature yourself. She has some great insights in this short piece as well, one of my personal favorites from when she is discussing how the wonder at a natural phenomenon is much more important than being able to identify the name of the plant/animal/whatever: "If facts are t ...more
Ken-ichi
Oct 10, 2009 Ken-ichi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents
This is a beautiful little book (more of an essay, really), about cultivating a small child's sense of wonder with the natural world, though I think it should renew or awaken that sense in all readers. I especially appreciated Carson's acknowledgement of emotion as the "fertile soil" in which knowledge and wisdom grow, and that she urges parents and children (and everyone else) to seek out questions and mysteries when exploring the outdoors, rather then stressing over names or scientific facts. ...more
Luke
Jul 17, 2016 Luke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The wonder that a child has at exploring nature, the sky and the night and the lichen, at getting close and feeling the world and particularly the systems of migration, of the moon's cycle, of rain's return to the ocean... that developing these senses in ourselves and the children around us is to experience our time in the world as the both the first and last time we might see each wonder that is the everyday process of life. A short essay with careful quiet photography.
Jo
May 08, 2016 Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
Pairs well with: How to Raise a Wild Child; The Geography of Childhood; Cathedral of the Wild

This book (really an essay in coffee-table-book form) is wonderful. It's at once a celebration of the accessible beauty of nature, a call to share and cultivate a child's fascination with nature, and a helpful guide for parents who are anxious for practical ideas. In this edition the photographs are a bit dated, but still beautiful.



Donna
Mar 25, 2015 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title caught my attention and after reading she was the author of Silent Spring I decided I needed to give it a listen. This is best read or listened to if you can be outside in a quiet park…. For me it slowed me down …it seemed meant to relax me and look around and appreciate all that is naturally outside..birds, trees, plants..etc…

I wonder how much more she would have written had she not passed away during this writing.
Kristie
Feb 21, 2016 Kristie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was recommended that I read this for an interpreter's course I'm taking this week, and I am so glad I did. My only regret is that it wasn't longer. I desperately wanted it to go on and on and on. It's a beautiful piece on the feelings nature can inspire in us when we allow it and how to cultivate that wonder in children.

Since I have a lot of driving this week, I'm trying out audiobooks. Kaiulani Lee did an excellent job.
Vanessa
Jan 03, 2015 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Rachel Carson's reflections on nature and sharing that with a child. She recounts the time she spends with her young nephew Roger on the coast of Maine, and I was inspired for the first time to learn more about her life and work. As a scientist, writer, conservationist and woman, she was truly inspiring. Well worth the time to read and reflect. If you have 30 minutes to spare, read it. You won't regret it!
Judy
Jan 13, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first time I read this story, it felt like that proverbial breath of fresh air. Here was someone who thought the way I did. For a good many years, I read this book every New Year's eve/day just to remind myself how important it is to wonder and to share nature with a child. And I still pick it up around Jan 1, it's like visiting a friend.
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Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement.

Carson began her career as an aquatic biologist in the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, and became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s. Her widely praised 1951 bestseller The Sea Around Us won
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“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” 135 likes
“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full or wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantment of later year…the alienation from the sources of our strength.” 85 likes
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