Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Ages: 3 – 7 Years
🏆 Awarded the Caldecott Medal as ‘’the most distinguished American picture book for children’’ in the year of its publication.
I wasn’t sure if the kids would like this book. I mean, it was first published in 1941 and although it has been considered a classic for a long time, my kids are fairly modern and used to bold and bright colors.
You know what? …
They absolutely adored both the story and illustrations in this book. They didn’t care one bit that the illustrations were Sepia toned (amazing by the way), or that the vehicles and police officer’s clothes were dated. In fact, this only added to the charm!
They responded with enthusiasm to the ducks, eagerly counting the ducklings on each page and enjoying Mother Duck’s nurturing nature.
Make Way for Ducklings has stood the test of time and this book is a fantastic reminder that new doesn’t necessarily mean better.
In fact, it’s so popular that a bronze statue of the ducks resides in the Boston Public Gardens. A replica was even installed in Moscow, a gift from the US First Lady Barbara Bush to Soviet First Lady Raisa Gorbachev.
Myself? I adored the illustrations and the story’s family focus of gentle love and warmth.
Make Way for Ducklings is an adorable classic book with family as the central theme. It’s a beautiful and charming addition to any children’s book collection.
The story begins with Mr. and Mrs. Mallard looking for a place to live. Every time Mr. Mallard finds a nice place, Mrs. Mallard says it’s no good, worrying about such things as foxes and turtles.
They land in a nice pond in the Boston Public Garden, where they are fed peanuts by visitors passing by. It seems like a great place to raise a family until a young boy nearly runs them over on his pushbike.
‘’This is no place for babies,’’ declares Mrs. Mallard.
They fly over some well-known landmarks in search of an ideal home and eventually spot an island on the Charles River, only a little way from the Public Garden. They settle in their new home and Mrs. Mallard lays eight eggs.
Mrs. Mallard is an excellent mother duck, nurturing the ducklings and teaching them how to swim and dive, walk in a line and to come when they are called. Mr. Mallard wishes to explore the area and they agree to meet in the Public Garden in one weeks’ time.
When the time comes to meet Mr. Mallard, she must take her ducklings through the busy city to reach the gardens. Their adventures are aided by Michael, a friendly police officer who literally stops traffic for them to cross the road safely.
He even organizes backup to ensure the ducks reach their destination safely. Four policemen hold back the traffic on the corner of Beacon Street so the ducks can march safely across.
Mrs. Mallard and the ducklings arrive at the gardens, meet Mr. Mallard as promised, and set up a happy home on an island in the river.
John McCloskey both wrote and illustrated eight picture books, winning two Caldecott Medals from the American Library Association in recognition of the year’s best picture books. This is one of those books and both children and adults will adore the simple, sepia-toned, yet incredibly detailed illustrations. The dated vehicles and police officer’s uniforms only adds to the charm!
Make Way for Ducklings has stood the test of time and this book is a fantastic reminder that new doesn’t necessarily mean better. This is an adorable classic book with family as the central theme. It’s a beautiful and charming addition to any children’s book collection.