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Make Way for Ducklings
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Make Way for Ducklings

4.5 56
by Robert McCloskey

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Mrs. Mallard was sure that the pond in the Boston Public Gardens would be a perfect place for her and her eight ducklings to live.  The problem was how to get them there through the busy streets of Boston.  But with a little help from the Boston police, Mrs. Mallard and Jack, Kack, Lack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack arive safely at their new home.


Mrs. Mallard was sure that the pond in the Boston Public Gardens would be a perfect place for her and her eight ducklings to live.  The problem was how to get them there through the busy streets of Boston.  But with a little help from the Boston police, Mrs. Mallard and Jack, Kack, Lack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack arive safely at their new home.
   This brilliantly illustrated, amusingly observed tale of Mallards on the move has won the hearts of generations of readers.  Awarded the
Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children in 1941, it has since become a favorite of millions.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Set in the bustling city of Boston, Make Way for Ducklings first amazed audiences in 1941. Awarded the Caldecott Medal in the same year, this delightful picture book captures the humor and beauty of one special duckling family.

When Mr. and Mrs. Mallard need a proper home to raise a family, they scour all of Boston's prominent spots. However, from Beacon Hill to the State House to Louisburg Square, nothing seems quite right -- until they find a small island in the Charles River that is perfect. After settling in, they take a trip to the park, where they meet a very nice policemen who feds them peanuts.

Soon, Mrs. Mallard has laid her eggs. After keeping them warm and safe, she watches the ducklings hatch, healthy and happy. She teaches them to swim, dive, and walk in a neat line, one behind the other. When she takes her brood out for their first walk into the city streets, cars screech to a halt, and Mrs. Mallard quacks her way across. Luckily, her policeman friend calls for help, and the officers direct traffic to "make way" for the duckling clan.

McClosky's illustrations are brilliant and filled with humor. The details of the ducklings, along with the popular sights of Boston, come across wonderfully. The image of the entire family proudly walking in line is a classic. Revisit this timeless tale with this splendid 60th anniversary edition, which also features a commemorative author bookplate to celebrate the occasion. (Amy Barkat)

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
The quaint story of the mallard family's search for the perfect place to hatch ducklings. Once the ducklings learn to walk in a straight line, they stroll past famous Boston landmarks into the Public Garden. For more than fifty years kids have been entertained by this warm and wonderful story. It has been reissued in paper and packaged with an audiotape for the current generation. 1942 Caldecott Medal.

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Picture Puffin Books Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 12.38(h) x 0.50(d)
AD630L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Robert McCloskey (1914-2003) wrote and illustrated some of the most honored and enduring children's books ever published. He grew up in Hamilton, Ohio, and spent time in Boston, New York, and ultimately Maine, where he and his wife raised their two daughters. The first ever two-time Caldecott Medal winner, for Make Way for Ducklings and Time of Wonder, 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.

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Make Way for Ducklings 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
We don't normally review books that were published so long ago, but I've "re-fallen" (is that a word?) in love with this book and I wanted to share with our readers. I was in Boston recently and, while browsing in the "Bostonian Society Museum Shop," found (or more aptly, re-discovered) Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. I LOVE this book. Make Way for Ducklings was originally published in 1941 and is about the ducks living on the Boston Common. Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are looking for a place to live but they just can't seem to find the right spot. Finally, after much searching, they discover the perfect new home - a tiny little island, surrounded by a lovely pond, in the middle of the Boston Public Garden (a.k.a. Boston Common). The ducks love their new home and start thinking of raising a family there. But just then, a boy on his bike, vroom, vroom, comes squealing through the ducks. "We'll have to look somewhere else," suggests Mrs. Mallard. The ducks eventually find a quite spot next to the Charles River. They build a nest and hatch out eight wonderful ducklings. Life is grand for the new duck family. One day Mr. Mallard decides to go exploring and tells Mrs. Mallard that they should meet in a week at the Public Garden. Unfortunately, little ducklings can't fly. So in a week, they set off - right through the city of Boston! - to get to the Public Garden. Watch out! Baby ducklings on the move! Robert McCloskey got the idea for this book while living in Boston. "I noticed the traffic problem of the ducks, and heard a few stories about them. Then the book just sort of developed from there." (from the dust jacket) Make Way for Ducklings is a sweet story with fabulous drawings by the author (all in brown pencil - no bright, multi-colored pictures). The drawings have a very old-fashioned feel - check out the cars in the pictures! - which I really got a kick out of. The story itself is timeless. A bronze statue of Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings (one has a tendency to wander off, er, get stolen from time to time) greets visitors to Boston Common while the book itself has never been out of print since 1941 and has sold over two million copies! If you go to Amazon to purchase, be careful about buying used copies. Because the book is so old, used copies apparently can be old, creaky, smelly, etc. The copy I bought is brand new. Quill says: If you've never read the book, or haven't seen it in a long time, check it out. Your kids should enjoy it as much as you did a "few" years ago.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A classic - give it often for a gift at a baby shower - or, just recently to new grandparents - with the bronze statues of Mother Duck and her ducklings so close in Boston for children to eventually see and the swan boats and pond - what more could you ask for as a gift.
mitzimi More than 1 year ago
every kid should have this book on their shelves. it's a classic!
esgMA More than 1 year ago
Great story, wonderful illustrations--recommend for Bostonians and persons whom might visit the city esgMA
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This award winning book will never get old. Beautiful illustrations and a simple story line connect with young children. Mother duck is a combination of discipline, style, and warmth raising her young ducklings and leading them safely through Boston to their new home. It's a classic for parents to place on the bedtime story shelf to read and reread!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this book for my almost three-year-old because I am trying to impress on him the dangers of crossing the road without an adult. It's an adorable story with beautiful illustrations - and it has inspired several conversations about why the ducks needed the policemen to help them cross the road! Success!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
1972bubblemike More than 1 year ago
My favourite illustrations ever, I think. A nice length for bedtime, and as someone who's visited Boston it's nice to reminisce at the sights, too.
dmg13 More than 1 year ago
I purchase this book for all of our family and friend's newborns. Great classic and I feel a must have for a child's library
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey is the story of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard who are looking for the perfect place to raise their eight ducklings. They fly all over Boston in search of a place that will be both safe and quiet. They finally find a little spot next to the Charles River. There they hatch their eight little ducklings: Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack and Quack. I always loved the rhyming names of the ducklings; in particular, I like Ouack and watching my parents struggle to pronounce his silly name. After the ducklings are hatched, Mr. Mallard goes on a trip to visit a little island in Boston Common. Mrs. Mallard agrees that she and the ducklings will meet him there in a week. Because the ducklings are too young to fly, the family must walk to the garden. Along the way, they find the help of Michael and other police officers who stop traffic and allow them to cross the road. At the end of the story, the Mallard family is happily reunited on the island in Boston Common and make a home for themselves there. Make Way for Ducklings is a wonderful book for children. This book has been in print since 1941, and it is no surprise that it continues to find a place in the hearts of young children and families. Although the story is simple and endearing, the real value of this book comes from the illustrations. McCloskey won the 1942 Caldecott Medal for his brown pencil illustrations. The attention to detail is remarkable, the sketches fill the majority of the page and do a wonderful job of complimenting the story and bringing it to life. McCloskey sketched the ducks in such a way that they manage to look both expressive and very realistic. This book has found a place in my heart, and with it's charming story and beautiful pictures, I'm sure it will continue to be a favorite for children for many years to come.
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donnaACA More than 1 year ago
Loved this when I read it to my kids 27 years ago and still love it for their kids
MrsWFL More than 1 year ago
I am from Boston although I live in Florida now and I LOVE this book! Have been reading it to my son since he was probably 1 or 2 and he absolutely loved it too!
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Grandma_Patty More than 1 year ago
My children loved this book when they were growing up so I gave each of my grandchildren a copy as they got older. It's a favorite of theirs too. I even have a 22 year old grandson that still has his copy!
Keebee More than 1 year ago
I give this book at every single baby shower I attend...I know that they are too young for it (geared for the 5-8 range), but it is one of those classics that can be read again and again and should be one every child's book shelf. I grew up in Boston and it brings back wonderful memories for me. The pictures are well illustrated and the writing is sweet. It allows for a lot of discussion while reading it. Children are sure to be entertained but the ducks and ducklings in this wonderful story. There is a reason it got a Caldecott Award!
Addydevlin More than 1 year ago
This book is a charming story of what a community will do to help a young family stay safe. My daughter moved to Boston 5 years ago and promptly fell in love with the story. She can take young visitor's to the duckling statues, and she frequently sends out the book as a gift! This is an old book that has captured the hearts of everyone in Boston. The drawings are adorable and the story is memorable.
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