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You can’t take a balloon into the Museum of Fine Arts

You can’t take a balloon into the Museum of Fine Arts

You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Museum of Fine Artsby Jacqueline Preiss Weitzmann and Robin Preiss Glasser was published in 2002.  It is a wordless story of the adventures of two children and their grandparents and is a great tour of the city. As the story starts off, the little girl can’t take her green balloon into the museum, so her grandmother offers to hold it while the others go inside.  Unfortunately, before the children even get into the museum, the balloon escapes and grandma desperately chases it, hoping to get it back before her granddaughter finds out.  Grandma quickly flags down a passing motorcyclist and chases the balloon through the city streets with her antics mirroring the images in the paintings the children see in the museum.  The balloon floats into the Boston Public Library (this link includes a list of current activities for children) then on into the public gardens, onto the Boston common, through Boston’s Chinatown and to the wharf and a reenactment of the Boston Tea Party.  The balloon continues to elude Grandma as the crowd follows it to Quincy market,  past the old North Church, Comcast Amphitheater and on into Fenway Park where the balloon gets tangled into a baseball and hit back to the Museum of Fine Arts.  At each stop Grandma collects another passerby, all of whom resemble subjects in the pictures the children have been viewing.  This is an entertaining tour of the city and a reminder that art can resemble...

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Sleds on Boston Common

Sleds on Boston Common

Sleds on Boston Common: A Story from the American Revolution by Louise Borden was first published in 2000.  It tells the story of Henry, a young boy trying to live a normal life in Boston in December of 1774.  The last royal governor, General Thomas Gage has closed the harbor and there was little work for the men on Long Wharf which had been the busiest pier in North America.  (The harbor can be toured by boat  or by public transit ; it is also adjacent to the New England Aquarium )  “Every day, there were more and more of the king’s soldiers marching on Boston Common.” But all Henry wants to do is use the new sled he received for his ninth birthday.  When he gets to the sledding hill, he discovers that the soldiers have camped in the middle of the sled runs on Boston Common.  Gathering his courage, he approaches General Gage about the ruined sled runs.  After a long conversation, the General authorizes sledding over the commons and instructs the soldiers to keep the ice unbroken on one of the ponds.  Henry manages to get his sledding in, flying down the hill over and over again until it is time to hurry back to school for afternoon...

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Make Way for Ducklings

Make Way for Ducklings

 Whether climbing to the top of a building or going on a balloon ride, the view is always better from up in the sky and you get to avoid the traffic!  Mr. and Mrs. Mallard were looking for a place to live, “but every time Mr. Mallard saw what looked like a nice place, Mrs. Mallard said it was no good.”  After a long and fruitless search, the ducks decide to spend the night on an island in the Boston Public Garden, unfortunately, there wasn’t much for breakfast.  They had better luck after they encounter the swan boats, who were very rude, but the people on the boats threw peanuts…. The park was looking promising, at least until they have a run in with a bicycle!  So the Mallards go back to touring Boston.  Over Beacon Hill, round the State House, with a stop at Louisburg Square, Mrs. Mallard can’t find anywhere she wants to raise her family until they come across an island in the Charles River.  While a bird’s eye view of the river may be more challenging, one way to see the river is through a boat tour or simply through a walk along the esplanade. Of course, the Mallards want to introduce ducklings Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack and Quack to the joys of the Public Garden, but the ducklings can’t fly yet, so Mrs. Mallard decides to walk with her family through town.  Their first obstacle is crossing a busy highway.  As horns honk, Mrs. Mallard Quaaacks back, making so much noise, that the police come running.  With the help of the police, the ducks tour the city, crossing the highway, walking down Mount Vernon street, through Beacon Hill, and into the Public Gardens where they decided to live happily ever after, eating peanuts thrown from the swan boats.  Every year there’s a duckling day parade every year on Mother’s Day.  Even if you’re not in Boston on Mother’s Day, you can still visit Mrs. Mallard, Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack and Quack waddling their way through the gardens. Make Way for Ducklings  is an enjoyable classic, perfect for reading aloud as you’re planning your trip to...

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