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Time of Wonder

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  4,964 ratings  ·  411 reviews
Winner of the Caldecott Medal! For fans of Blueberries for Sal, One Morning in Maine, and Make way for Ducklings.

Out on the islands that poke their rocky shores above the waters of Penobscot Bay, you can watch the time of the world go by, from minute to minute, hour to hour, from day to day . . . So begins this classic story of one summer on a Maine island from the author
Paperback, 64 pages
Published June 15th 1985 by Puffin Books (first published 1957)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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LOVE IT! This book is poetry. Robert paints a picture of Island life. Most of my life I have wanted to live in a coastal town. I don't know what it is about life on the water, it seems so rhythmic. They live by high tide and low tide. The weather is always so important because it affects life. I also want to live in Maine someday. This book calls to some deep part of me. Island life and living in nature.

I love the art work that looks like water colors - I could be wrong. It is a long book, but y

When I first read this book as a child, I did not really care for this book since I thought that this book was too boring to sit through. However, when I read this book later on as an adult, I realized that this book was a truly moving book. “Time of Wonder” is a Caldecott Medal award winning book from the great mind of Robert McCloskey and it is about how a family spends their time on the islands enjoying the beauties of the island. “Time of Wonder” may seem a bit too boring for smaller childre
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely beautiful! This sparkling story transports you to Penobscot Bay, Maine where you experience the joys and wonders of the changing seasons, from the gentle unfurling of the ferns as spring draws to a close to the fun of swimming in the height of summer to the awesome power of a hurricane as autumn draws neigh. I love that the story feels timeless in one sense, with all the connections to nature, night and day, the changing tides, the passing seasons. Yet it's also a wonderful glimpse in ...more
Book Concierge
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 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 sprin
Sep 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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 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 bo ...more
This is a wonderful story about a summer on an island in Penobscot Bay, off the coast of Maine. The illustrations are terrific and the story, while a bit long, is enchanting.

I would recommend reading this in a few installments with children so as to keep their interest. Our girls got quite a bit bored with it (despite the exciting hurricane and exploring its aftermath), but I hope they will give it another chance someday.

This book was selected as one of the books for the January 2015 - Quarterl
Lovely classic story. Those old-fashioned illustrations are beautiful!
Kiera Burnett
Summary and Critique:
Upon finishing Time of Wonder, one feels as though they have lived through an entire summer at Penobscot Bay. The author’s use of the word “you” allows readers to picture themselves as part of the story, picturing the tides coming in going, feeling the salty breeze, building castles in the sand, and searching for tiny creatures along the shore. The poetic words in this story lend to this feeling as one is not reading a story as much as they are reading a feeling or an experi
Alex Schultz
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
"Time of Wonder” is about the life at a bay, starting with a massive storm that rushes over the island. The season changes and so does the atmosphere of the people. Everyone comes out in the sun and the beaches are full of people. At nightfall, the sky is full of stars and a big moon. The children run and play in the woods. At the end, the families move and pack their stuff, since it is the end of the summer.
The water color in this book was a better job than most water color picture books I hav
My son and I absolutely loved this book. It's not much more than an account of magical summers spent in an island off the New England coast. There's everything from foggy mornings that obscures everything to lazy summer afternoons spent diving off the rock at the end of the island to evenings spent wandering around in the boat. There's even an end of the summer storm after which it's time to head back home and to school. It truly sounds like a time of wonder, well loved and wonderfully described ...more
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Beautiful, evocative watercolors and a sweet, atmospheric story.
Victor The Reader
I haven’t read a picture book as deep and serene like “TOW” in years. It follows a family spending their summer on a Maine island made up of smaller islands connected together, and later preparing for a later summer hurricane. Every page’s passage is told with poetic feel and McCloskey’s paintings look so moving and vibrant. A perfect picture book for your summer reading. A (100%/Outstanding)
Alex  Baugh
It seems appropriate to end Summer Reading 2016 with an old favorite in my house. Written in 1957, this classic story is about one family's summer vacation on one of the many islands around Penobscot Bay, Maine.

It isn't really a story as much as it is a chronicle of observations about different aspects of island life and the activities of two sisters on the island, all narrated in the third person from the point of view of one of the girls. It begins with dark clouds moving across all the island
Mar 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
My daughter and I have read Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey, as well as his book One Morning in Maine, which features a slightly older Sal and her baby sister Jane. In Time of Wonder, Mr. McCloskey does not name the two sisters who are summering on a Maine island, but his watercolor pictures look a great deal like Sal and Jane as I would imagine them as older girls.

I loved this book growing up and I love it now. I, too, wanted to see rocks that had been scarred by glaciers (not realizi
Laura (Book Scrounger)
I feel bad giving only three stars to a McCloskey book, but this is one that I just had a hard time connecting with. It's not that there's anything "wrong" with it -- the artwork is great, and it is so very evocative of harbor life along the Maine coast. I think my problem is that I tried to read it as a child and it just lost me. I think perhaps the "age appropriateness" of the illustrations and the text doesn't really match. It's a picture book, but wordier than most, and doesn't really have a ...more
I am so glad I revisited this book, particularly as the season noticeably turns from Indian Summer to winter's eve with reports of snow in the valley within a couple of days.

What child and adult doesn't delight in the vacationing, the exploring, the discovering of a place other than one's own year-round home? Although I haven't been to Maine, my visit to Nag's Head, North Carolina, gave me some of the feel of a beachy living. (Somehow I couldn't compare this East Coast beach experience that I di
Mike Smith
Jun 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I couldn't help comparing this to The Ox Cart Man. Each tells the story of a year in the life of a family, but McCloskey includes wonder with the routine. The hurricane adds drama, but even in the mundane the language gives life to the story rather than recording the events like an accountant for a strict miser that takes away food for each word used and adds a lash for any imagination. McCloskey's poetic language flows in spirit with the marine world he portrays. The rhythmic progression animat ...more
Caroline Daniel
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reading-4050
o Summary: This is a very in depth picture book that is beautifully written. It talks about the islands around Maine. It is a book about the summer spent at Maine and all of the adventures at the ocean, beach, and surrounding areas. It also talks about a huge storm that occurs and all the clean up and adventures of the aftermath.
o Grade level: 5th
o Appropriate classroom use: This is a good book to read after a summer break where kids may have went to the beach. They could relate to it that way.
Katie Fitzgerald
This is one of the only Robert McCloskey books I did not read for the project I did on him in graduate school. I’m not sure how I skipped it, since it is definitely the kind of picture book I usually love. It reminds me a lot of All the World, which I frequently name as my favorite picture book of all time. McCloskey captures the same carefree childhood innocence Frazee infuses into her illustrations for All the World, and both books have a timeless quality that extend their relevance far beyond ...more
Guadalupe Sanchez
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Time of wonder by McCloskey Robert
Genre: fiction, picture book Reading level: P-up grades Format: good

Time of wonder by Robert McCloskey is a book that really makes the reader feel like they are experiencing what the book is illustrating. For example when the book says “now take a deep breath” this makes the reader actually take a deep breath because the reader doesn’t know what is about to happen once the page is flipped. This book can make many children relate to the story because many times
Robert Davis
Caledcott Medal (1958)

Robert McClosky paints a portrait of a languid summer spent on a Maine island, surrounded by the natural beauty of nature and wildlife, lobster boats and sailing schooners. These are the halcyon days, and McClosky's art beautifully captures this bygone time in bright and tranquil art and rhythmic prose. Summers end is marked by the onset of a hurricane, which transforms the landscape of the little island and unearths relics from the past. As summer ends and the family prepa
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: caldecott
1958 Caldecott Medal. Favorite Illustration: When the girls row their boat across the lake at night, with all the stars shining above them.
This is a quiet, peaceful, almost poetic little tale of a family's summer on an island. There isn't any dialogue and very little happens in the book, but it is very sweet and makes you want to take some time to look around you and appreciate the little moments with your loved ones that makes life so precious. I enjoyed McCloskey's illustrations quite a bit, a
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I read this book today because I'm sad because I broke up with my girlfriend Sunday because I'm unemployed and don't feel good enough. So I'm home alone, pacing around the apartment, reading this book aloud, and I'm getting soaked into it. Then the phone rings, and it's the most personable telemarketer you could ever imagine. "My dad handles the gas bill," I told her eventually. When will he be home? "Well, usually around 2-ish." Alright, she said, we'll call back around 3 so he has a chance to ...more
Tricia Douglas
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I reread Time of Wonder last night. It's not my favorite McCloskey book, but as an adult I can definitely reminisce with the author. It seems like that's what he's trying to do with this story. I can picture him doing everything he describes. His pictures are lovely, not too entertaining, but complete the story he is trying to share. For a child not knowing or understanding life on an island, McCloskey succeeds in capturing how fun/exciting it would be to live off the Maine coast. I will keep t ...more
Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob)
Beautiful illustrations. I feel like this very nicely captures what summer vacations to the ocean would have been like at this point in history. This reads a lot like my dad's stories of summer lake vacations in northern Michigan.

I didn't like how he illustrated some of the children, but, his landscapes are beautiful and atmospheric so he gets a free pass on the couple of awkward looking children.

Just such a bygone era, when there was the sort of free time to spend an entire summer somewhere i
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pbf-general
I very much liked this quiet story and meditation of a summer spent on a northeastern island summer home. This is one of the few picture book stories that is written in the second person: "you can watch a cloud;" "you hear a million splashes;" "you can hear an insect;" etc. The lovely watercolor paintings echo the text very well. The paintings have soft colors and a hazy look. This cozy story will be best suited to elementary age children as it is rather wordy. ...more
This was a fairly interesting story, I liked the poetic elements and how the author incorporated so many sights and sounds that you almost felt like you were there, almost. The illustrations were nice as well. A pretty good book, but probably not one I'd recommend.

*Taken from my book reviews blog:
While I really loved the illustrations and the language was almost poetic, I had a hard time staying focused on this book. My children didn't care for it at all and in fact only listened to half of it and then asked me to stop reading. I read it all but kept finding my mind wandering. Perhaps the fault is mine but it didn't feel me with wonder. ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-lit
A really nice time in the summer and where as a family better to spend it on an Deer island. Getting ready for a hurricane and then the cleanup. Unfortunately the summer is coming to an end so they have to go back to their regular home. It is always great to take a scenic tour before you leave.
Jun 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
This isn't quite up there with Make Way for Ducklings or Blueberries for Sal as far as the story goes, but I loved the illustrations. Made me want to visit Maine for the summer! My favorite picture was the group of kids jumping off a giant rock. ...more
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John Robert McCloskey was an American writer and illustrator of children's books. He both wrote and illustrated eight picture books and won two Caldecott Medals from the American Library Association recognizing the year's best-illustrated picture book. Four of those eight books were set in Maine: Blueberries for Sal, One Morning in Maine, Time of Wonder, and Burt Dow, Deep-water Man; the last thre ...more

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