Top positive review
110 people found this helpful
A Timeless Story for All Ages!
on July 23, 2000
Children naturally are interested in understanding a parent's perspective on the family. Mr. and Mrs. Mallard's search for a safe home for their future family makes a wonderful story for children and parents to explore and understand more about parental love. Although the book has a 4-8 age reading level, younger children enjoy having it read to them (based on the experiences of my four children). The illustrations are terrific and draw the child's interest very easily. Older children like to reread the story because of its comfortable connection to their more youthful years and reinforcement of their sense of being wanted, loved, and belonging.
To me, the best part of the book is that the locations are actually easy to find in Boston. So if you live in the Boston area or ever come here, you can also take your children to experience the story. I know my younger daughter thought that her first Swan boat ride in the Public Garden was the ultimate moment in her life (up to that point). She kept wanting to know which duck was Mrs. Mallard, and which one was Mr. Mallard. Then she wanted to spot Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack (my favorite name in the book), Pack, and Quack. I had a ball! There are also statues of Mrs. Mallard and her 8 offspring that the children can touch. There's also an annual parade that you can participate in.
If you don't know the story, here's a summary: Mr. and Mrs. Mallard were looking for a place to live where they could raise a family safely. Whenever Mr. Mallard found someplace he liked, Mrs. Mallard worried about foxes and turtles. Finally they got to the pond in the Public Garden in Boston, and were too tired to go on. So they spent the night on the little island there. The next morning they could not find much food, until the people on the Swan boats began to throw them peanuts. But the Mallards were almost run over by a bicycle, so they felt they needed a safer place. They tried several, but each had a drawback. Finally, they found an island in the Charles River not far from the Public Garden that met all their requirements. Michael, the policeman, fed them peanuts. Soon, Mrs. Mallard laid 8 eggs, and stayed to hatch them. After the ducklings were born, they learned to swim and walk single file behind their Mother. One day, she walked them towards the Public Garden. But they could not get across the highway. Michael spotted them and stopped the traffic so they could cross. He called Clancy at the station and told him to send a car to help Mrs. Mallard and the ducklings cross at the Public Garden. When in the pond there, they met Mr. Mallard on the little island. They decided to live there, and followed the Swan boats for peanuts after that.
I have enjoyed reading this story and reading it to children for almost 30 years. I look forward to reading it to my grandchildren when the time comes. It has also been my favorite book to give as a gift to new parents.
Enjoy the wonderful gift of warm family feeling in this book, and leave your stalled thinking about your cares and worries behind. It will remind you what is really important in your life!