One Morning in Maine
by Robert McCloskey/ published 1952 by The Viking Press
One of my all time favorites as a child, I'd been holding off reading it to my two-year-old son for fear that he'd find it too long and boring. Quite the contrary. At first reading yesterday, he stayed engaged from beginning to end and then asked to hear it again, even though it took at least 20 minutes to get through it the first time around. I hadn't read it myself since was a kid, and now it is easy to see why I dug it. It is full of all sorts of grownup talk and unknowns all within the landscape of water and harbors and sea animals. I don't think there is a better book out there on losing a tooth... or making concessions and dealing with disappointment. It's such a great read and really takes you into a world most America kids don't get to see nowadays.
"Why it's gone!" she said sadly, feeling once more to make sure.
The loose tooth was really and truly gone.
The salty mud from her fingers tasted bitter,
and she made a bitter-tasting face
that was almost a face like crying.
Both my sisters were born in Maine, and my family used to live there, so I am pretty familiar with the lifestyle myself. But this read completely evokes that coastal sub-world that is filled with all sorts of wonders for the imagination to feed off of. The illustrations are gorgeous with curved strokes of black on white that give every person and scene a feeling of being giddy. Truly a classic.
Burt Dow Deep-Water Man
The Man Who Lost His Head
Make Way for Ducklings
Journey Cake, Ho!