All the Places to Love

by Patricia Maclachlan Year Published: Average
old in the voice of a child who lives on a farm with his parents and grandparents, the author's poetic narrative opens on the day of the boy's birth, when his grandmother holds him up to the open window, "So that what I heard first was the wind. / What I saw first were all the places to love: / The valley, / The river falling down over rocks, / The hilltop where the blueberries grew." The child introduces readers to the spots that each person in his family loves best: for his mother it is the hilltop where the sky is "an arm's length away"; for his grandfather, the dark, cool barn ("Where else, he says, can the soft sound of cows chewing / Make all the difference in the world?"). Only after the birth of his sister does the boy reveal his favorite place of all: the marsh "Where ducklings follow their mother / Like tiny tumbles of leaves."