1699464A classic of classics!

Mr. & Mrs. Mallard are searching Boston and the surrounding areas for a place to build a nest.  They are going to have a family.  A quiet, serene island in the Charles River is where eight ducklings are born and bred.  But after some time when the ducklings are old enough, Mr. Mallard tells Mama duck that he is going back to the Boston Public Gardens and will meet her there with the ducklings in a week.  So, after a week, Mrs. Mallard, with eight little mallards in tow, head towards the Public Gardens.  They have to brave the busy Boston streets, traffic, pedestrians, and noise.  Crossing the streets is quite a hazard for the ducklings, but Michael the Policeman, a great friend of this duck family, comes to their aid.  He gets them across intersections and into the Gardens where they make a new home.  The young’s ones learn the way of this busy city garden park.

The book was written and illustrated in 1941 by Robert McCloskey who used his own life experiences to write such a book for he would see ducks in the Public Gardens as he walked to the art school each day.  The original art is done in sepia tones giving the book that old fashioned look with a classic appeal.    This wonderful book would win the Caldecott Medal in 1942 and become a classic for years to come.  Children are still reading it as are their parents, grandparents, great grandparents!

Awards:  Caldecott Medal 1942

Reading Level: 6 – 8 Years

Robert McCloskey (1914-2003) was a very talented man, not only as an artist and author, but he played several instruments, loved music, and invented things electrical and mechanical.  He wrote and illustrated many wonderful children’s books that have received honors and have endured.  He grew up in Hamilton, Ohio, and spent time in Boston where he attended Vesper George Art Achool, New York where he attended the National Academy of Design, and ultimately Maine, where he and his wife raised their two daughters.  As a professional artist, he received commissions, many awards, and exhibited his works in many fine galleries.  He was the first ever two-time Caldecott Medal winner, for Make Way for Ducklings and Time of Wonder.  Mr. McCloskey was also awarded Caldecott Honors for Blueberries for Sal, One Morning in Maine, and Journey Cake, Ho! by Ruth Sawyer.  He was declared a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2000.  You can see some of his best-loved characters immortalized as statues in Boston’s Public Garden and Lentil Park in Hamilton, Ohio.  He dies at age 88.

Book Information

  • ISBN-13: 9780670451494
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/1941
  • Series: Picture Puffin Books Series
  • Pages: 68
  • Product dimensions: 9.62 (w) x 12.32 (h) x 0.50 (d)

I originally reviewed this wonderful book January, 2014.



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