Published in 1941, Robert McCloskey‘s well-known picture book conveys respect for animals and kindness toward them. Mr. and Mrs. Mallard set up their home in Boston, carefully selecting a safe location, building their nest, and hatching eight ducklings. When they agree to meet in the pond in the Public Garden, Mrs. Mallard must navigate the way from the Charles River to the park with her eight little ones.
The challenge of Mrs. Mallard’s route is navigating the busy street with the ducklings in tow. Happily, a police officer named Michael comes to her rescue, stopping traffic at one intersection and eventually phoning three other officers to assist with getting the ducks safely across Beacon Street.
As someone who is mindful of wildlife along my route (going so far as to carry turtles across the street when I see them), I love the message this book conveys. Pair that with Mr. McCloskey’s attention to detail and gentle prose, and the result is a timeless book that I expect my child is likely to read to her own someday.