Book Review: Make Way for Ducklings

MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGSA book like this hardly needs a review, let alone an introduction. In the dream library that I made for my future grandchildren–in my head–classics like this one will always find a place.

Still, there is no telling with kids, especially very young ones. With them, there is no accounting for taste, for reals. They tend to latch on to one or two specific books and read them to death, and there is hardly an algorithm that can figure out which book you will be reading until you have memorized and despised it. My daughter liked A Monster at the End of This Book and Charlie and Lola. My son preferred The Day the Crayons Quit and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. At least these books let me do voices.

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey (author of Homer Price) was a favorite of my cousin’s. My aunt would read it to him over and over, in her gentle, lyrical voice. I can still hear it in my head. So this story, as likely as any, could turn out to be your child’s or grandchild’s favorite. At the least, it would be a good idea to expose them to the best books so that you don’t end up reading something dumb and intolerable, ad nauseum.

So to the book itself: Make Way for Ducklings is classic for a reason. It is well written. Interesting. Appropriate for children. There is a struggle, but it is told softly, which is nice for bedtime. There are noises to be made by mom or dad. The illustrations, although vintage and therefore duotone and of a vintage style, are solid. It speaks of a time in literature (and possibly in real life) of a quieter, more lulling time. It feels happy and safe and friendly.

Add it to the library. Although not one of my childhood favorites, it’s a good one.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Make Way for Ducklings

  1. This truly is a classic. Another classic by McCloskey, though little known, is Blueberries for Sal, my favorite of his. Evokes the same kind of quiet reverence for life’s little blessings, and for peacefulness and caring for those we love (to me).

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