Robert McCloskey is the storytelling spirit of New England. His pictures are sandy, wet, cool, crisp, and clear. They are the beating heart of the East Coast; and thus the soul of old America. To me, McCloskey is a kindred spirit of Norman Rockwell, decorating our lives with the American Spirit. He gives us all a small taste of his humble world, but it is honest and brilliant in its simplicity. No other children’s book illustrator, in my opinion, embodies the humanity and grit and poetry of America more than McCloskey. It’s appropriate as we celebrate over two hundred years of our nation’s Independence and who we are as Americans.