Saturday, 2 November 2013

Make Way For Ducklings

In the mid-nineties I worked in the Globe Corner Bookstore in Boston. It was a bit of a landmark, having formerly been the Corner Bookstore, which was a well known publishing house and where Charles Dickens used to meet up with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The ground floor was devoted to childrens books and information about Boston and the first floor to travel guides and maps. One of the top sellers on the ground floor was the great Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. Actually, this book is where my love of American childrens literature began. One way of  "familiarising myself with the merchandise" was reading the books. Another reason I love this one is because I can say to my kids "There I am!" peering out the window of the Corner Bookstore because that is what I did a lot of the time, when I was whiling away the day.
Its a wonderful book, and not just for those who might be interested in Boston (although if you know the city it is particularly nice). My boys like it for the pictures of children playing, the determination of the ducks and the satisfying ending. Its a pretty big format, which suits it, although I'd recommend the hardback for reading comfort. Like a lot of these older books (this one was published in 1941) this one is criminally cheap and would make a really special present for anyone aged three to six.

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