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 both playfulness and gravitas. There's a hurricane, and there are bellyflops. There are cranky old men and cranky old seabirds. It's all happening here, all the time. And it's always waiting for me to come back.