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The Sense of Wonder

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4.40  ·  Rating details ·  1,645 ratings  ·  215 reviews
First published more than three decades ago, this reissue of Rachel Carson's award-winning classic brings her unique vision to a new generation of readers. Stunning new photographs by Nick Kelsh beautifully complement Carson's intimate account of adventures with her young nephew, Roger, as they enjoy walks along the rocky coast of Maine and through dense forests and open f ...more
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published April 21st 1998 by Harper (first published 1956)
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Average rating 4.40  · 
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Mario the lone bookwolf
A description of how adults and parents can awake the fascination, love and interest for nature in kids and how mindfulness and sustainability can be taught to the smallest that will grow to the decision-makers of the future.

As I like to say, this is a positive example of "Give them to us when they are young and they belong to us forever." and what lies closer, what is more logical, natural and self-explaining than to go outside in the wilderness and just be, examine, walk, hike, wander and abso
...more
Rachel Terry
Jan 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
David Schaafsma
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in."- Rachel Carson

"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."—Rachel Carson

Van Morrison’s “A Sense of Wonder
...more
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. ...more
 The Black Geek
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I encountered the work of Rachel Carson when I was 16 years old. I was both moved and inspired by her book,Silent Spring, that explored issues of the toxic impact of man-made chemicals within the human environment. In the Sense of Wonder the reader encounters a uniquely poetic side of this forward thinking and spot on 20th century scientist....
Madhusree
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature
This is my first book read this year. On an unseasonably warm winter's day, after a walk in the arboretum, I sat in their library and read this book from cover to cover. This is a re-read and I was reminded of how much I loved her writing. She evokes a sense of wonder at the natural world that I feel each time I take a walk outside but I wish I could write like her.

She writes about the wonder of lichen, moss, shrubs and trees and the beauty of time passing. How naming things can help but nature
...more
Richard
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Katy
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful photos & wonderful writing. ...more
Julianne
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature-beauties
ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS.
Mona
Drawing on her adventures with her young son at their cottage in Maine, Rachel Carson meditates on how to instill wonder and appreciation of nature in children.

Though this book was published back in the 1950s, it hasn't lost any of its resonance. I appreciate that she doesn't wholly advocate a "go-to-the-woods" approach - she stresses that people who live in cities, even in apartment buildings, can still experience the beauty of nature. Our cities have changed, though, and probably not for the
...more
Prashanth Nuggehalli Srinivas
A smooth read aloud to my daughter and myself. Enjoyed and rediscovered a sense of awe that I remember experiencing in wide open natural places. I’d say this is a must-read for every parent-child. The celebration of the shore, the temperate forest, the rain, the reindeer lichen and the way it feels to stand over it when it’s dry and it’s resilience when wet from rain, the smells, sounds and the feel of the outdoors; the wonder of discovering crickets in the dark and the sound of water and the st ...more
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.
K.L. Lantz
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a sweet book that will remind you why you were drawn to Waldorf or Charlotte Mason, or A Thomas Jefferson Education, or any other delight-led educational philosophy. Rachel Carson is clearly a creative earth mother type of person with a talent for poetical writing and a love of children. To learn from her prose and the pictures chosen to accompany them was an hour of pleasure for me. This is a brief read, and therefore perfect for a busy homeschooler, parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle. ...more
Stuart Champion
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is incredibly special and never more relevant. So prescient in its acknowledgement of man's loss of appreciation of nature, it could have been written yesterday.
I shall treasure this book forever, recommend it to everyone (especially family and friends), and attempt to live by it's values.
It'll only take you 25 minutes, but it might have a huge effect on your wellbeing.
Ivan
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is very short but says so much about teaching a child by just being with them, exploring together, allowing them to ask questions - don't fill their heads with facts (necessarily), but with a sense of wonder. Beautifully written. Will have to read more by Carson.
Laura
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I needed to read this book at this moment. Always happiest when outdoors and when sadness creeps in and I feel depressed I can see the disconnect between me and nature. A book filled with beautiful ideas, stories and photographs.
Sarah
Apr 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
A stunning book - for both its words and its pictures.
Lovely to share with children.
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.
A
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Luminous.
Debbi
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2016
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.
Matt Sans
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It doesn’t seem right giving a book this short 5 stars (even if it was unfinished), but it was such a powerful book that genuinely made me reflect on how I approach nature and the world that I couldn’t give it any less. Some of my favorites quotes...

“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 adult
...more
Nasreddine EL Guezar
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
When was the last time you watched a plant grow or contemplated the sounds of the sea waves? Can you name more than four types of birds? Have you ever taken your child on a walk in the woods? If your answer to these is mostly no, you are definitely a city dweller. You and I have been taking our senses for granted. Ask yourself, when was the last time you looked at nature as a child would do? You probably wouldn't remember when because you learn, think, and feel as an adult. Only children have ac ...more
Diane  Moser
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely book , specifically written to encourage parents to take their children outside and explore. Here are a few of my favorite quotes.."There is other living music. The sound of the insect orchestra swells and throbs night after night from midsummer until autumn end and the frosty nights nights make the tiny players stiff and numb, and finally the last note is filled in the long cold.
The game is to listen, not so much to the full orchestra as to the separate instruments, and to try
...more
Donnie
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a "must read" for parents or grandparents of young children. It is a very easy read and make sure you read it instead of listening to it. The book has some beautiful photographs to go with it that you won't want to miss. The advice is simple. Go for walks in the woods with your kids/grandkids. Explore all the wonders of nature that are present everywhere, if you just take time to look. Lots of examples of things to do to get you started. I have observed many instances where this path was ...more
George
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
This pretty much sums it up: “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
Huwaida
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I came across this book after I read a little about the life of Rachel Carson. This short read has convinced me that as soon as we're over this pandemic, the first thing I'll do would be going out and enjoying the beauty of nature, the way a 4-year-old would. This book feels like a hug. Can't believe it's written in 1956. It feels like it was written specifically to give me company in 2020 itself.
Eileen
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 stars (liked it)

A lovely short book about encouraging a child's sense of wonder in nature. Would make a nice baby shower gift for new parents.
Liza Hinkle (Connolly)
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rachel Carson is one of my personal heroes and I really loved her short ode to experiencing nature with children. It’s sentimental and heartfelt, but never sloppy:
“One way to open your eyes to unnoticed beauty is to ask yourself, ‘What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?’ ...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 i
...more
Sutherland
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"One way to open your eyes to unnoticed beauty is to ask yourself, 'What if I had never seen this before? What if I know I would never see it again?"

"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 disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with thing
...more
Samantha
Mar 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
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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
...more

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