The Monday Book: MAKE WAY FOR THE DUCKLINGS by Robert McCloskey

I grew up on this book. It’s the story of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard, and since it was written in the 1940s, of course Mrs. Mallard took her husband’s last name. They set up house on an island in a lagoon off Boston Gardens. There, they are befriended by a policeman named Michael.

When Mr. Mallard flies off to visit upriver sites, he and Mrs. Mallard agree to meet in the gardens a week later, but to her surprise, Mrs. Mallard finds a huge stream of traffic between her and reuniting the children with their Egg Daddy.

Enter Michael, who sees the dilemma and radios for help. Soon four policeman, a patrol car, and numerous passersby form a cordon for the family, who are escorted in peace to the reunion. The family settles in the gardens so they don’t have to call out the city’s resources for future forays. You know, spending taxpayer money on journeys to recreational locations, that kind of thing.

I’m writing about this book today because it’s peaceful. Because Nancy Reagan gave Raisa Gorbachev a copy of the Boston Gardens bronze statue commemorating McCloskey’s ducklings to take back to the Soviet Union in the 1980s–another time when we were all afraid of each other. And because so many generations of children learned to read, learned to look after defenseless animals, and learned to value the small things because of this book.

If you’ve never read it, now’s a good time. If you have read it, now’s a good time to re-read it. Two wings up for Make Way for the Ducklings.

6 Comments

Filed under book reviews, Wendy Welch, what's on your bedside table, writing, YA fiction

6 responses to “The Monday Book: MAKE WAY FOR THE DUCKLINGS by Robert McCloskey

  1. ***Reminder: “the” is not in the title.*** This was my favorite book to read to my kids when they were barely old enough to talk, let alone read! And, often, when we’re out and about and I see ducks in the countryside, my mind goes back to that dear book! Thanks for a reminder of something truly good and fine.

  2. ann

    A fav.. of mine   Ann M.

  3. bex

    This book and Blueberries for Sal (by the same author) exemplify Maya Angelou’s observation about not remembering what people say but how they make you feel. Robert McCloskey books make us feel good in the best way.

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