Author: Robert McCloskey
Illustrator: Robert McCloskey
Publisher: Viking Press
Publication Date: 1941, republished since then
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book
Summary: Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are searching for the perfect spot to lay their eggs and raise their baby ducks: Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Oack, Pack, and Quack. It's not easy, but they find a great home in the Boston Public Gardens.
What I Think: I hadn't read this book until I went to visit one of my closest friend's who now lives in Boston. One afternoon on a blustery November day, we walked the Freedom Trail through Boston. I am fascinated by the history of our country and the Revolutionary War and by following the Freedom Trail, a literal red strip through Boston, you can visit many landmarks from that era including the sight of the Boston Massacre and Old North Church where Paul Revere received his message that he went to relay on his late night ride. The start of the Freedom Trail is at the Boston Common, the oldest public park in the history of the United States. As we walked through the Common, I noticed the bronze statues of Mrs. Mallard and the eight baby ducks. Of course, I had to take a picture...and there were two toddlers having fun with the ducks at the same time.
Later on our tour when we were in the Old North Church's small store, I found a copy of Make Way For Ducklings and knew I had to have it. After reading the story, I completely fell in love all over again. How can you not love these little duckies and their caring parents.
When I shared this book with Peanut he giggled when we read the names of all the ducklings. He was curious about ducks and laying eggs and how eggs hatch. I love how fiction books can lead to questions about how the world works. One thing that strikes me about this book is that the illustrations are simple drawings without color but the story is still easy to relate to and lovable.
I got to spend this past weekend with my wonderful friend who still lives in Boston (she loves it and she'll never move...) and we had to visit the Public Gardens. Peanut and I had questions about ducks and as my friend, Alison, and I were discussing this story we started wondering ourselves about why Mr. Mallard leaves Mrs. Mallard and about what mallards eat and if it would be okay to feed them peanuts while we road the duck boats. Of course, with our smartphones, we were able to instantly look up our answers and we learned about ducks. I love that this kind of questioning that develops from a book turns into more learning whether you are young (like Peanut) or old (like my Alison and I). I love a book that can do this!
I'm excited to share some pictures from my Boston adventure with these beloved ducklings:
Read Together: PreK - 3
Read Alone: K - 3
Read With: Nonfiction about ducks or birds, The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon by Jacqueline Davies,
Snatch of Text:
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Asking Questions
Writing Strategies to Practice: Narrative, Descriptive
Writing Prompts: Write a story about another animal that meets the Mallard family at the Boston Public Garden. Describe your favorite park and what you love about it.
Topics Covered: Family, Taking Risks, Love, Fitting In
Translated to Spanish: Yes! Abran Paso A los Patitos = Make Way for Ducklings (Picture Puffin Books (Pb)) (Spanish Edition) or Abran paso a los patitos
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