Make Way for Ducklings


Make Way for Ducklings

Robert McCloskey

New York: Viking Press, 1941

62 pp

ages 2 and up

Interests: birds, ducks, public parks, Boston

This is a charming tale of a family of ducks living in the middle of Boston. Mr. and Mrs. Mallard take an inordinate amount of time and care in picking a safe spot to lay their eggs. After the eight ducklings are hatched Mrs. Mallard leads them waddling through the busy city streets to the public gardens, aided by a friendly policeman named Michael, and the rest of the Boston police force.

McCloskey’s book gives a duck’s-eye view of the city, and gives a lovely account of how birds can find a home amid the concrete, cars and noise. The birds speak to each other, but otherwise behave as birds do. Boston’s landmarks are featured prominently, which would provide a thrill for readers who know the city. (Depicting the city circa 1941 of course.) And it’s amusing to see the surprised reactions Mrs. Mallard gets as she leads her eight ducklings down the sidewalk.

(Among Boston’s landmarks today is a bronze statue in Boston Public Garden depicting McCloskey’s family of ducks.)

A simple tale, simply told. And it moves along well – not too many words per page, so excellent for age two and upward.

(This title at


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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.
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