In honor of Children’s Book Week, today we’re featuring THE children’s book of Boston: Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey. This delightful classic of a duck family’s journey through the streets of Boston was published in 1941 and has endured since, both literarily and culturally.
Make Way for Duckings was McCloskey’s second book. When he was an art student at the now closed Vesper George Art School in the 1930s he found the inspiration for the story from the long hours he would spend in the Public Garden. After some time away he returned to Boston to outline a draft of the book, which went on to win the 1942 Caldecott Medal for most distinguished children’s picture book.
Boston’s gone a little bonkers over the book, but rightly so: You can find a copy in every bookstore in the city including all the bookstops at the tourist locations. The adorable little Mallard family is forever preserved in bronze in the Public Garden. And every Mother’s Day Boston holds the “Duckling Day Parade” (we didn’t know this existed), where people dress up like the ducklings and have traditionally retraced the trail of the Mallards, but apparently this year it’s gotten too big and the parade was just held in the Public Garden. Also, it’s officially on the books that Make Way for Ducklings is the official children’s book of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
And did you know?: The number one selling item at the Barnes & Noble at the Prudential Center is…the little stuffed yellow duck!
What is your Make Way for Ducklings memory? Tell us in the comments.