Make Way for Ducklings

Robert McCloskey
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Short Review: 
Winner of the Caldecott Medal, this delightful tale of a duck family that makes Boston’s Public Garden its home has been adored by children for over 60 years.
Long Review: 

Mr. and Mrs. Mallard find the perfect place to settle down and raise a family – a little island in Boston’s Charles River, not far from the Boston Public Gardens. Mrs. Mallard, who knows a thing or two about raising ducklings, teaches her brood of eight to swim and dive, to walk in a line, to come when called, and to stay away from bikes and scooters and other dangerous things with wheels. But there comes the day when Mrs. Mallard wants to take her ducklings to the Public Gardens, and she must cross several busy streets to get there. Enter Michael the policeman, who, recognizing the gravity of the situation, enlists the help of his policeman friends to come to the aid of Mrs. Mallard and her brood by stopping traffic so they can cross the streets safely. When the mama duck and her ducklings arrive in the Public Gardens and meet up with Mr. Mallard, they decide to stay there, swimming after the swan boats and eating the peanuts thrown to them by the people. The soft, brown monotoned illustrations and typeface immediately set a nostalgic mood – capturing the humor and slight outrageousness of the situation, while at the same time conveying the gravity and pride with which Mrs. Mallard leads her brood to their new home, past familiar Boston sights. This Caldecott Medal winning classic has been beloved by children (and their parents) for over 60 years. If you’re ever visiting Boston’s Public Gardens, look for the sculpture of Mrs. Mallard with Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack trailing behind her! McCloskey is the author and illustrator of other classic picture books, including Blueberries for Sal, Time of Wonder (another Caldecott Medal winner), One Morning in Maine, and Lentil.

Lauren Mayer

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Large image: 
Robert McCloskey