Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 28: Make Way for Ducklings

What kind of Bostonian would I be if I didn't feature Robert McCloskey's classic, Make Way for Ducklings?  This wonderful story was a baby gift for my son, given to us by one of my students and his family.  Thank you, Kriers!  I love this book -- and other McCloskey titles, too -- but I think they tend to be for a slightly older age group and I didn't think it would capture my son's attention much until now.   I read it to him a few times when he was very little, but he didn't show much interest.  When I got it down from his bookshelf the other night to read before bed, he fell in love with it!  We have read it multiple times since then, and he pretended to be the last of the eight little ducklings, Quack, all day yesterday.  (I was Mrs. Mallard, of course.)  First published in 1941, Make Way for Ducklings was based on a real duck family that made its way through the streets of Boston, stopping traffic along the way.  Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are searching for the perfect place to raise their ducklings, and McCloskey's beautiful brown pencil illustrations capture both the time and place beautifully.  Among other things, my son loves looking at the old-fashioned cars, and I love seeing the many classic Boston landmarks featured in the story, as well:  Charles Street, the Swan Boats in the Public Garden, the Longfellow Bridge, the State House.  And of course we all love the charming family of ducklings:  Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack.   What child won't love saying all of those names?!   You needn't be from Boston to appreciate this book, though if you ever visit, stop by the bronze statues of the ducklings right inside the gates of the Garden.  The story is endearing, the illustrations are wonderful (it's a Caldecott winner), and it's no wonder it has been a favorite on bookshelves for 70 years.


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