Here are two books I loved as a child. I shared them with my children and now I'm starting on the grandchildren. The books are by the same author, Robert McCloskey. The stories are different but the writing style is the same. And, no one can mistake McCloskey's drawings. To re-read them again and again is a joy.
Make Way For Ducklings
The Viking Press, 1941
A Caldecott Medal Winner
Summary: This is the story of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard's search for a new home in time to lay with eggs. After the eggs are hatched and the new little ones learn everything from their mother, they are ready to travel. Mrs. Mallard takes them on a walk through Boston. Along the way they meet very busy traffic, some friendly policemen, and other nice people.
My reaction: Having this book read to me is one of my earliest memories. However, I still see the setting for this story as Lincoln Park in my hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin. It must have been read to me that way. The story is still very simple yet very charming. All of the drawings are what I believe is called sepia. This may be different for some of today's children who are used to bright, vivid colors. Based on my grandchildren, I see this as a good read-to book for two to four year olds.
Blueberries For Sal
The Viking Press, 1948
A Caldecott Honor Book
Summary: Little Sal and her mother take their pails to Blueberry Hill to pick blueberries to be canned for winter food. Little Sal helps pick the berries but eats most of them. Meanwhile, on the other side of Blueberry Hill, is Little Bear and his mother. They have come to eat enough blueberries so they can grow big and fat for the long winter. Both Little Sal and Little Bear become separated from their mothers. I will stop the story right here so I don't spoil it for you.
My reaction: This is another charming story with beautiful, simple black and white drawings. I read this book last Spring to my granddaughter when she was three. We both loved it. We could both understand what it felt like to be separated from our mothers. And, as two blueberry-lovers, we wished we could be on Blueberry Hill and eat all those berries.