Make Way: The Story of Robert McCloskey, Nancy Schön, and Some Very Famous Ducklings

Random House Studio. Apr. 2023. 48p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780593373354.
Gr 1-4–This is the true-life story of Robert McCloskey of Make Way For Ducklings and Nancy Schön’s subsequent creation of bronze duck sculptures that honors both artists’ path while explaining the fame of their webbed creations. Young McCloskey and Schön’s stories are told alternately to show how each individual interacted with their worlds as children and found their way to their own artistry. As the tales unfold, both are faced with doubts and roadblocks that threaten their beliefs in their own talents. It is near the end of this story that Schön and McCloskey work together; the back matter of the book provides additional information that explains the popularity of the ducklings at the heart of the story. At times the switches between narratives aren’t smooth, but the connections are aided by the illustrations and imagery. As a nod to the original picture book, Keane uses sepia tones contrasted with digitally rendered “crayon” with an emphasis on the expressive faces of every character and animal. The addition of more vibrant colors, such as bright blue, gives this retelling a very modern feel. Use this with the original book, perhaps with older audiences who will follow the dual narrative and the transitions.
VERDICT A visually appealing and well-researched addition to biographical narratives, for use with the original Make Way for Ducklings or with the recent picture book biography Mr. McCloskey’s Marvelous Mallards by Emma Bland Smith.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing