Monday, September 22, 2008

Make Way for Ducklings

I have a wonderful hardcover edition of Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. The dust jacket is torn in many places. I am so very fond of this book. This copy was given to me by my great uncle Sidney who purchased it for me at Lauriat's Books in Boston in 1966. Growing up in the Boston area the book was very real to me. I remember chasing ducks at the reservoir in Brookline and riding in the swan boats in the Public Garden.

Make Way for Ducklings won the Caldecott Medal in 1942. It is the story of two mallards who wish to raise a family in the Boston area but have trouble finding a safe and sensible spot to raise ducklings. McCloskey's charcoal drawings are so charming and warm that I've never wanted to eat duck as a result. The book has been deemed The Children's Book of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 1987 a bronze statue of the mother mallard and her eight ducklings was installed in the Public Garden as a tribute to McCloskey. A similar statue was also installed in a park in Moscow.

McCloskey won the Caldecott Medal again in 1958 for Time of Wonder. He won the Caldecott Honor Medal several times, Blueberries for Sal (1949), One Morning in Maine (1953) and Journey Cake Ho! (1954).

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