Sunday, January 31, 2010

Make Way for Ducklings in THE PIT

I've been trying to work in some classic picture books this year in THE PIT. I found through my discussions with the kids about Caldecott books that they aren't familiar with some of my favorites. I haven't done nearly as well with this as I had originally intended but I still have half a year to go.

Last week I introduced one of my all time favorites, Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. I'm sure all of you are familiar with the story of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard making their way to Boston, one of my favorite cities, looking for a place free of foxes and turtles to raise their family. They settle on one of the islands in the Charles River in view of the "Salt and Pepper" bridge where the eggs are hatched and Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack join the family.

I find it a little funny that at this point in the story, Mr. Mallard decides he needs a little time away and goes exploring further up the river promising to meet the family back in Boston Public Garden. I think maybe it's a duck version of a business trip.

When Mrs. Mallard leads the ducklings back to the garden, I'm able to point out sites in Boston that I pass every summer with my student groups. The kids all ask questions about the places and if the story is true, especially when I point out where the duck statues are right inside the gate of the public garden.

Even though this book is 69 years old, it still works today. It just goes to show that when a book is good, it's good no matter when it was written.
I haven't tried one of these in a while so I was glad to see I still remembered the steps to making a book mosaic!


  1. Thanks for bringing back so many fun memories of Boston-I miss everything except the bus ride home!!!

  2. Love the the book!

  3. Hooray for the classics (quickly becoming one myself...)

  4. Very cool... I love the classics too. Always fun to revisit, revive, and revitalize!

  5. One of my favorite cities, one of my favorite authors and one of my favorite books (Blueberries for Sal might edge out as my favorite picture book by him though). Great post and I love the book mosaic.

  6. I LOVE THIS BOOK. My first two years of teaching was at a school two blocks from the commons. I share with my students the pictures of me on the swan boats. Oh the memories.

  7. Hey, Karen and Bill! I have nominated you for a "Sugar Doll Blogger Award"! Participation is optional, but I'm curious to see what blogs you consult. Visit me at if you would like to jump through the hoops. (It's okay if you don't want to!)