Welcome back, readers! Hope everyone had a good Memorial Day weekend. The family and I spent a couple of wonderful nights outside of Boston with friends, complete with all-American long weekend activities—barbecue, golf, lawn sports, etc. Even got a night off from the kids for an adult dinner at a real restaurant!
But perhaps the most special part of the trip was a visit downtown to the Boston Public Garden for the boys to check out the setting for Make Way for Ducklings. Surprisingly, there’s really not all that much in the Public Garden specifically dedicated to Robert McCloskey’s classic. There’s a group of statues of Mrs. Mallard and her chicks, but that’s really about it—yes, there are the swan boats, but they advertise no link to the book, nor is there anything to mark the island where the ducks make their home. And the only sign of Officer Michael was on an ice cream truck on Boylston Street.
Still, Henry was in heaven, partly because plenty of live ducks still make the pond their home. But more than that, I think he made the connection that here was the site where the book actually took place, and that the setting of a book can sometimes be a real place, as opposed to make believe. I have to say, I was pretty blown away by that moment of comprehension, and it made me think there must be other picture book locations I should be taking him to.
Next up is a bike ride to the little red lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge, but after that I’m drawing a blank. Any suggestions?