A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this long book lacks tension and poetic description, but it portrays the sweet mood of a contented family.
What's the story?
A loose tooth is both scary and fun for a child. Little Sal's fear over her wiggly tooth turns to jubilance and then despair. A lost tooth is also an age marker, and Sal is suddenly a big girl who can help her father and instruct her little sister. Although it's mildly didactic, this warm story generates good feelings.
Is it any good?
Robert McCloskey's books are old favorites, and adults enjoy reading them to children. Life in McCloskey's world is fairly safe and peaceful, and always full of natural beauty. The stories make adults remember childhood, and vacations, and simpler moments. And they make today's children feel calm and assured.
ONE MORNING IN MAINE is tender and right on the mark with a child's feelings about a lost tooth and an adventure with Dad. The softness of the pencil drawings perfectly matches the mood of Sal's wonder about life and growing up. Kids laugh at Sal's barrage of questions to her father about animals -- and they gasp when Sal's tooth pops out and sinks into clam-filled mud.