Author: Robert McCloskey
Publisher: The Viking Press
Date of Publication: 1941
Mr. and Mrs. Mallard fly north to look for a place to live. Their first choice is the Public Garden in Boston, but when Mrs. Mallard is almost run over by a bike she decides that it is not a good place to bring up a family. They finally decide on a spot on the Charles River and meet a Policeman called Michael who feeds them.
Mrs. Mallard lays eight eggs. Mr. Mallard then decides to explore the rest of the river and agreed to meet the whole family the following week in the Public Garden. When the ducklings are born Mrs. Mallard teaches them to swim and dive and to follow in a straight line so she can take them to meet their father in the Public Garden.
As they wade ashore and start to cross the road, the cars begin to honk their horns. The ducklings respond to this by quacking at them. Michael sees what is happening and stops the traffic so the ducklings can cross the road. Once they are across, he contacts other police officers to help him hold traffic to make way for the ducklings so that Mrs. Mallard and her family are able to cross the street safely into the Public Garden. Mrs. Mallard and the ducklings then swim across the pond across to the little island where they found Mr. Mallard waiting for them. The ducklings like their new island so much that they decide to live there.
• Did this book resonate with you? If so, in what ways? If not, why not? I enjoyed reading this book as an adult, remembering it from childhood. Reading it as an adult, I realize the some of the lessons I learned as a child such as following instructions from my mother for example.
• Would you recommend this book? If so, to whom and why? If not, why not? I would highly recommend this book to preschool and early education teachers who are looking for an entertaining story that can be used to teach the children about such things as following instructions. For older children a big thing that can be learned is how sometimes things are not as they initially appear, and the Mallard family discovered through the story.
• Would you like to read other books by this author? Why or why not? Yes. The author/illustrator did a wonderful job of keeping the story moving, and allowing the pictures to accent and helps move the story along, while continuing to holding the interest of the reader.
• How does this book demonstrate characteristics of quality literature? This book shows a good balance between the illustrations and the writing, allowing each to accent the other as the story moves. The story is one that younger children can relate to, and using ducks as the primary characters, it creates an interest in the readers or listeners to want to find out more.
• Additional notes/comments/criticisms:
Although this story is almost 70 years old, some of the issues it addresses are valid and current even in modern times. In this reviewers opinion the greatest asset of the story is the strength of its primary female character in Mrs. Mallard, showing her to be a woman who is not afraid to make decisions and take charge, something not often seen in 1941.
Title:A Wrinkle in Time
Author: Madeleine L'Engle
Illustrator:Ellen Raskin (1960s editions), Leo and Diane Dillon (current hardcover) Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Date of Publication: 1962
In the beginning of the story, we are introduced to Meg Murry. Although she is very bright, her self esteem is very low and this is causing her problems in school. We learn her parents are both scientists, and that her father has been missing for over a year now. We are also introduced to her five year old brother, Charles Wallace, who we discover very quickly is an extremely gifted child with a...