“When they came to the corner of Beacon Street […] The policemen held back the traffic so Mrs. Mallard and the ducklings could march across the street, right on into the Public Gardens.” – Robert McCloskey Make Way for Ducklings
One of my first times visiting Boston was with my second grade class. We mostly stuck to the Boston Public Gardens and the focal point for our seven-year-old minds was to look for the Make Way for Ducklings statues. Our teacher had read the book to us in the days before our trip to prepare us. It doesn’t take much to see most of the sites featured in Robert McCloskey’s classic children’s book.
When family cameinto town to visit over the Easter holidays, we decided it would be a good time to visit the city and I suggested that my five-year-old niece might find a visit to the statues interesting. We took the red line into the city and went over the Longfellow Bridge, which unfortunately for tourists is under construction and isn’t as visually appealing as it can be; personally, my fondest memories of that bridge are those spent leaning against the railing and watching the fireworks over the Charles River on the Fourth of July, the music from the accompanying concert on the esplanade playing on the radio.
While I pointed out the golden dome of the Capitol Building gleaming in the distance to my niece, she was less interested and impressed than with the statues themselves (she has a special fondness for animal statues that goes back a while). The Swan Boats will have to wait for another trip, as it was too early in the season for them to run (along with a DuckBoat tour; so many fun touristy things to do, even after spending so much time in the city over the years).
After spending a few minutes with the statues, we crossed the Common once more and headed for my favorite bookstore in the city, Brattle Book Shop (not to be confused with the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge). Specializing in used and hard to find books, I don’t think I’ve ever left that store empty handed. It’s one of the most reliable places I’ve come across for adding to my collection of children’s books. When the weather’s dry, the open lot next door to the store proper is lined with almost as many books as the floors of shelves inside. We didn’t have time this trip (because my wonderful brother managed to get horribly lost on his way into the city and put us woefully behind schedule), but only a few blocks up Boylston Street from the Common and Public Gardens is the Boston Public Library, another must see site for Boston-bound booklovers. Additional photos.