Edited Repost: Make Way For Ducklings

Make Way For Ducklings: First published in 1941, this 1942 Caldecott Medal winner and Massachusetts State book, is still delighting an audience of children and adults today. Robert McCloskey’s gentle prose and award winning illustrations magically capture the true essence of parental birds in flight.

The reader is quickly drawn into Mr. and Mrs. Mallard's search for the perfect place to raise their family. The books double page spread illustrations invite you to view the world from the Mallards point of view, which adds to the realism of a perfectly paced plot. Hence, within the first few pages, the reader joins the Mallard family's flight over houses and farms as they make their way toward the magnificent city of Boston.

However, while flying over the city, Mr. and Mrs. Mallard cannot agree on the perfect place to stop and investigate their surroundings, so they continue flying until they are exhausted, and must agree to stop on an island in the middle of the Boston Public Garden.

The following day, the couple swam and fished in the pond, strolled along the bank, and were generally happy with the garden. However, due to public activity in the park, Mrs. Mallard began to feel uncomfortable with the area, and wanted to search for a more suitable nesting environment.

Hence, the Mallards take off again, flying over the many landmarks of Boston, until they finally find a home in close proximity to the Garden where their offspring can hatch.

The Mallards like their new home close to the pond, where they form a friendship with a man named Michael, who showers them with a constant supply of peanuts. However, after Mrs. Mallard lays her eggs in the nest, she cannot visit Michael until her babies hatch. Although, we see Michael again when he proves to be both a hero and a trusted friend, in addition to the entire city of Boston.

Robert McCloskey’s warm-heartened portrayal of these parents is the backbone of this classic in addition to its articulately written prose and truthful illustration. The Mallards are devoted to their offspring and spend a good deal of time teaching them how to live safely in the world. You are convinced you can trust them and like them instantly. I fell in love with the ducks and snuggled with them in flight twice on my couch in one afternoon.

The prose is poetic, the plot is wonderfully paced and the illustrations are vividly drawn, thereby depicting a true duck family living a happy and prosporous life in Boston.

Although written for ages 4-8, the book is one of the best picture books to read aloud to a young audience according to many reviews.

Make Way For Ducklings was designated the official book of the State of Massachusetts in 2003.

Feel free to leave book review requests in comments.

Or e-mail me at annclemmons@hotmail.com

Authors note: I wrote the original Book review for Make Way For Ducklings in July of 2007, and it continues to attract many readers a day. Therefore, we I saw the links to it today, I decided to re-read it. Then, I decided it needed a good edit. (Smile) I don't how my book review remained popular after all this time, other than the fact that it's written about this timeless classic.

I read somewhere that there is a statue of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and their off-spring in The Boston Public Garden, which doesn't surprise me. Anyway, the old book review is still posted, because I didn't want to break the link, but I hope you will enjoy this one as well, in addition I wanted to share the book with my new readers.

And as always, thanks for reading.


Skye said...

That was a wonderful review of the book Annie! I hadn't even heard of the book till now, and although I don't have young children anymore, I'm tempted to check the library to see if they have it there so I can read it :)

I grew up on a farm where we had Mallards, and I always enjoyed watching them with their young. Granted, they weren't wild, they were ours and stayed with us all year long, but such is life. We also used to have a pair of Wood Ducks come around every spring to raise their young. But, when my parents got rid of their Mallards and Geese, the wild water fowl quit coming to live on our farm. I'm not sure why exactly, they pond is still there, the yard hasn't really changed, but no water fowl come around to stay. Oh they stop there for a few days each spring and fall on their migrations, but they don't stick around to raise young anymore.

Thanks for reminding me of my old friends :)

beeker said...

I love this book!

Relimom said...

Hi there,

just wanted to let you know that I just love your song of today! The lyrics are beautiful, and I especially like the line 'If love doesn't last forever, what's forever for?'

Would you perhaps like to swap buttons with me?

Dawn (Twisted Sister) said...

You do write a wonderful review. I just realized that we are not so different from the ducks. I moved here to raise my child in a nice safe environment... must be the mothering instinct!
Luvs ya Annie :)

The Muse said...

when life gets you down it is amazing how much joy we can find in reading a children's book!

mauniejames3 said...

Hi Annie,

Yes you are correct. The whole family is depicted in iron statues in the common. Almost every year at least one of the ducklings are sawed and stolen and then at much expense replaced.

The book is one of my faves as an adult as well as a child. I also
love the swan boats and try to take a child at least once a year.

I love the review of the book so of course, it was yours.

I read it in the late sixties to my own child and he loved it too.

Thanks for reminding me to read it again.

Margo said...

What a great review, Annie. I don't remember reading it when I was little but it was always one of my childrens' faves. We get ducks in our yard sometime that walk across the street to get here on rainy days and it still causes all kinds of excitement. Have a great day!

Margo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

This is one of my favorite books. I have a thing for mallards because of this book, and they are just plain cute. Every child should have a copy of Make Way For Ducklings.

Sandee said...

I hope all is well with you and yours.

Have a terrific day and weekend. Big hug and lotsa lovies. :)

Sandee said...

Nice to hear from you Annie. I can quit worrying now.

Have a terrific day honey. Big hug and lotsa lovies. :)

TheSnackHound said...

I love that book! Maybe that's why I love Mallards. Did you ever see the statue that is in Boston of Mrs. Mallard and the ducklings. Its really cute!

gaby317 said...

very much enjoyed your post!

this was one of my favorite books as a kid! it helped that we lived in Newton and would see the ducks and the sculptures. now my niece loves the same sculpture and ducks and we'll soon be reading the book to her.

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