One Morning in Maine
There was a time-honored tradition in our family whenever my sister and I had a loose tooth. My dad would tie one end of the string around the loose tooth and the other end to a doorknob. Standing a good couple of paces from the open door, anxiety would build while I wait for the door to slam and set in motion a chain of events that would send my tooth flying through the air. Sometimes he would let my sister do the honors. Annie would like to make me sweat and enjoyed giving it a couple of practice runs; not enough force to yank out the tooth, but enough to draw blood. To this day I still cringe when I hear a door slam. Keep reading…
Sal wakes up one morning to discover she has a loose tooth. Afraid that it will hurt and that she will not be able to sail to Buck’s Harbor with her dad, Sal becomes distressed but is reassured by mom that a loose tooth is just one of many childhood passages to becoming a grownup. Excited that she is now big girl, Sal spends her whole day telling everyone she meets about her loose tooth – the fish hawk, the loon, and the seal. One Morning in Maine gives readers a rare look into the life of author and illustrator Robert McCloskey. Family, friends and neighbors inspire all of the characters in the book. It’s a long story for a children’s book at 64 pages, not a detail was left out. One Morning in Maine would make a good bedtime book, one to savor over a couple of nights.
One Morning in Maine is filled with wholesome goodness; with illustrations that will make you feel warm inside. It was really hard for me to select just three images for this entry. First printed in 1952 by Viking Press, One Morning in Maine reminds me the Leave it to Beaver; simpler times when you weren’t plugged in or too busy to say hello to a neighbor and when it wasn’t dangerous to be nice to strangers.
One Morning in Maine is filled with fabulous black and white charcoal illustrations that look soft to the touch. Robert McCloskey’s observations skill helps bring the illustrations to life. His has an astounding ability to capture everything he sees; detail, facial expressions and light. There is a lot of emphasis these days on style for the purpose of commercialization. Robert McCloskey is old school, classically trained with emphasis on composition and figure drawing. You have to admire that skill because it’s a dying art form.
One Morning in Maine, a children’s book review by Thao Lam
Author and Illustrator Robert McCloskey
(September 15th, 1914 – June 30th, 2003)
”I think in pictures,” Robert McCloskey said. ”I fill in between pictures with words. My first book I wrote in order to have something to illustrate.” His illustrations were always done first while he struggled filling on the blanks of the story, writing and rewriting the book over and over again. Born and raised in the small town of Hamilton, Ohio, Robert McCloskey won a scholarship to the Vesper George Art School in Boston and then went on to the National Academy of Design in New York.
Married to the daughter of storyteller and author Ruth Sawyer, Robert McCloskey settled down in the small community of Maine to start a family. His books gives us a rare glimpse into his family life and life spent on the coast of Maine.
Publisher Viking Press; 1st edition (April 14, 1952)