Make Way for Ducklings (Viking Kestrel picture books)

by Robert McCloskey

Hardcover, 1941



Local notes





Viking Books for Young Readers (1941), 72 pages


Mr. and Mrs. Mallard proudly return to their home in the Boston Public Garden with their eight offspring.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

72 p.; 9.41 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member jpmccasland
A beautiful story of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard, two young ducks in search of a good place to raise a family. Upon finding Boston with its parks and willing people to feed them, the Mallard family settles down. After learning how to survive around bicycles and anything else with wheels and where to find
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peanuts they settle down in the Charles River. Eight ducklings later, Mr. Mallard goes off to explore. Mrs. Mallard shows herself to be a competent mother. Once the young ones are ready, the mom and babies embark on an adventure to meet the father in the park. Traffic becomes a problem until the entire community becomes involved.

This book has been a favorite for generations of beginning readers. I have read this book many, many times as a young person and even today this masterpiece resonates deeply within me. The combination of drawing and artistic use of words, along with real locations make this book attractive to young and old alike. The illustrations are carefully rendered with attention to detail, each duckling is imbued with its own personality. The story moves rapidly and has a happy ending that is completely satisfying.

I believe this story would be useful in class to teach about wildlife, especially ducks. This book also would be useful to help with phonics, the ducklings names could let the class brainstorm about other rhyming words. This story would also be a good time to relate how to be safe in traffic, watching both ways before crossing the street.
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LibraryThing member BenjaminHahn
The drawings of ducks are great. I think perhaps another story is hiding here. Like, what the hell was Mr. Mallard doing, while Mrs. Mallard was training all the ducklings. Does he work at Langley? Was he "exploring" the parts of the river that the loons occupied? Sounds like a plot line from Mad
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Men really.
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LibraryThing member JulianneM
I love this book! It is a very old book; however it is a classic. It is a Caldecott winner for its beautiful illustrations! The illustrations are very detailed and original. It is different from any other book I have seen. The pictures are almost like sketches! The story line is very cute about a
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family of ducks who live in a big city and some changes that occur in their family. It is a great book!
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LibraryThing member t1bclasslibrary
Mrs. and Mr. Duck find a place to raise their ducklings, they take good care of them until one day Mr. Duck gets the dumb idea that everyone should go to the public gardens. Mrs. Duck walks them over there and they miraculously escape being run over on the way.
LibraryThing member drruth
McCluskey's pictures and the ducklings' names will delight young readers, even ones like my son who generally like books that sound more adventurous.
LibraryThing member smpenni
It's not easy for duck parents to find a safe place to bring up their ducklings, but during a rest stop in Boston's Public Garden, Mr. and Mrs. Mallard think they just might have found the perfect spot--no foxes or turtles in sight, plenty of peanuts from pleasant passers-by, and the benevolent
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instincts of a kindly police officer to boot. Young readers will love the mother duck's proud, loving protection of her wee webbed ones, and those with fond memories of Boston will enjoy familiar locales, from Beacon Hill to Louisburg Square, and over the Charles River--often from a duck's-eye view.
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LibraryThing member MrsLee
One of my favorite books when I was a child, I still love it.
LibraryThing member cjfox73
Told in a very loving and gentle way, children will respond to the nuturing of the parents and the adorable baby ducklings.
LibraryThing member mrsarey
This classic picture book details the lives of the Mallard family in the Public Garden of Boston. This is an excellent read for kids of all ages, and is a good introduction to Caledecott books.
LibraryThing member MaowangVater
A family of mallard ducks makes their home in a pond in Boston Public Garden with a little assistance from the Boston Police Department.
LibraryThing member BVstorytime
Mr. and Mrs. Mallard proudly return to their home in the Boston Public Garden with their eight offspring.
LibraryThing member ashdawn21
This book is about a family of ducks trying to find the perfect home to raise a family. When they finally find that perfect place they have to learn to adjust to city life and all the hazards that come with living there.

As a little girl I used to love reading this book with my mom, so when I found
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it I had to read it again. I love the way the pictures are drawn, you really can't find that kind of drawing in any other books anymore.

The way I might use this in the classroom is by allowing my students to make their own story using animals who like to make there homes' among people, and what dangers those animals might come into contact with.
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LibraryThing member JenniferHauschildt
A mallard duck couple was searching for a place to build a nest and raise a family. They found a park in Boston where people fed them. They made their nest on an island in the river. They met a nice policeman who fed them. After the babies hatched, the father duck went on a trip. The mother taught
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the babies everything they needed to know. The mother and the babies made their way across town back to the park to reunite with their father. They had some help along the way.

Personal Reaction

I liked this book. The pictures are not in color, but they seem more dramatic and less distracting in black and white. It's a cute story about baby ducks. A child of any age of child would enjoy this book.

Classroom Extension Ideas

- If you were doing a unit about baby animals or animals in general, this would be a great addition.

- The children could do an art project where they draw the duck family, or draw their favorite part of the book.
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LibraryThing member dchaves
Don't worry the mommy duck knows all about taking care of 'babies'. Z: "The babies are so cute and the mother is good." M: "Its very realistic and everyone should like it."
LibraryThing member MOster
Parents to be Mr. and Mrs. Mallard look for a suitable area to build their home. When ducklings finally hatch Mom teaches them how to survive and then moves them to the Public garden. While on the adventure of moving, the ducklings face a few obstacles. Friends help out and the ducklings and Mom
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make it to the new home safely.

I felt the story was a bit confusing. Young children would ask questions about why mother was so picky and then moved back. I thought the story was unorganized with no real plot. I do not recommend this book for young readers ages 2- 4.

The illustrations in this book were pencil drawings; it would be fun to have my students make drawings similar to them. Student could also write about the season and how birds fly south for the winter.
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LibraryThing member stharp
This book is an excellent example of a realistic fiction. Even though the ducks have conversation, they only have it with themselves and the author cleverly translates it into readable english. The setting where the story takes place is in an American city, which I believe is MA. As the ducklings
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make their way across the city, they go through places like the park and the city streets, which prove to be relentless obstacles at times.
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LibraryThing member eecnelsen
Great book when teaching a class about ducks. It shows how hard it is to find the right nest. How the city can hinder their reproduction and safty. Review: This is a great book!!
LibraryThing member macfly_17
This is one of my favorite stories from childhood. I enjoy the Mallard family's story, from Mr. and Mrs. Mallard's arrival in Boston, to the hatching of their children, to the long walk (accompanied by the police) to the Public Garden.
LibraryThing member mhackman
A beautiful tale about a Mallard couple who are searching for the perfect spot to start a family. They settle in a city and the citizens truly make way for ducklings.
LibraryThing member psjones
I love this book!! the illustrations are in black and white which makes this book unique. This book has wonderful language and vocabulary for small children.
LibraryThing member colombe
How could I not buy this with my being in Boston? :)
LibraryThing member AStall
The Mallard family (of ducks of course) were searching for a place to raise a family. They had it made after finding a police officer named Michael who would feed them peanuts. Mr. Mallard set off and let Mrs. Mallard stay behind to raise the babies for a brief time. Mrs. Mallard eventually sets
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off to join her husband and the police officers and citizens do everything they can to make way for the ducks, including stopping traffic with a police escort.

I value animals and think that the theme of animal compassion is important to teach children. I wish there were more colorful illustrations in the book. I found this book after having it and as I child, I was so upset with the lack of color, I had added some of my own color to it. I love the point of view of Mrs. Mallard. It was a very sweet book.

For an extension activity, I would bring a mama duck and her baby ducks to class and let the children experience touching and hearing the ducks. I would then ask them to make a duck of their own using class materials (newspaper, paint, crayons, clay, etc.)
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LibraryThing member sdbookhound
Beautiful book to read to young children with enthralling illustrations well worthy of the Caldecott Medal won.
LibraryThing member lynny_nicole
Make Ways for Duckling is about a husband and wife duck couple that is looking for the perfect place to call home and to raise a family of ducklings. They fly from place to place in search of the right place to lay their eggs. Once the ducklings were old enough and trained they set off to look for
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the place to spend forever with.

I thought it was a good book but I think it would be better to read it to a first grade class or a kindergarten class. My son, who is 3, was not able to stay interested. I liked the pictures, however, I am more of a colored picture kinda of person. Though I do think the pictures got the point across and added to the story beautifully.

I would have the class draw pictures of what their idea place would be to live if they were a duck. I would also have them write a one page story about the place they call home and what makes them classify that as home.
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LibraryThing member samitay89
"Make Way for Ducklings" is about two ducks name Mrs. and Mr. Mallard who trying to find a place to raise their family. They finally find a place and teach their kids to swim. walk in a straight line. and to come when called.

I really like this book it is really cute. I think this is really good
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for first thru third grade students.

I would take the kids to the park with a small pound to show them the ducks. Show how they fall in line like in the book.
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(1003 ratings; 4.3)
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