Make Way for Ducklings

Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings is an essential  picture book.  Written and illustrated by McCloskey, it won the 1942 Caldecott Medal for illustrations.

The book is still popular and has been constantly in print since its first publication.  In fact, Boston has dedicated small statues to the ducks.

The story of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard is set in Boston, Massachusetts.  Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are looking for a place to settle their family.  They search all over Boston, looking at all of the famous places, like Beacon Hill.  Unfortunately, there is something wrong with each place.

They are tired from their search and take a break on an island in the Charles River.  They meet a policeman who gives them peanuts and Mrs. Mallard gives birth to their ducklings, Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack.

Mr. Mallard decides he will fly farther up the river to see if there are any good locations up there.  He and Mrs. Mallard decide to meet in the public garden lagoon in a week. While Mr. Mallard is away, Mrs. Mallard teaches the ducks how to swim and live as a duck.  When it is time to leave, she marches her charges through the city, while the policeman holds traffic for them.

They meet in the lagoon and decide it is a perfect place to raise their ducklings.  The delightful story is a sweet story of ducks trying to find their home.  McCloskey illustrates the adventures with from a duck’s view with fantastic drawings.  I am always tickled by the ducklings and their movements captured by McCloskey’s drawings.  The story is perfect for children of all ages.