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.
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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.
Motherhood is an art impossible to explain, one which requires a vast sea of love, devotion, compassion, and understanding, unmatched by any affection we will ever know again.- Ann Clemmons
Words are the core of our souls, without written, vocal or lyrical expression we lose sight of one another or worse, ourselves. Words bring forth the essence of the human spirit; so express yourself without abandon.
Beatrix Potter’s Journal, 17 November 1896, from the National Trust collection.
Alone in her world
of make believe
weaving her stories
of magic and light
She brings joy
to the eyes
of innocent minds
less jaded and free
For only they know
what's in her heart
holding the secrets
she guards so well
Life's hidden mysteries
belong to those
whose wisdom and truth
shine on in imagination
Written for Ann
Of The Horoscope Junkie
Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”'
F. Scott Fitzgerald. (Lines from The Great Gatsby)
"A Southerner Talks Music"
"A book must be the ax for the frozen sea inside us."
An author values a compliment even when it comes from a source of doubtful competency.
- Mark Twain in Eruption
"I like a good story well told. That is the reason I am sometimes forced to tell them myself"