RAR Special Edition: Robert McCloskey Makes Way


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In today’s Special Edition of the Read-Aloud Revival podcast, you’ll meet the man behind Make Way for Ducklings. Robert McCloskey was the first to win two Caldecott Awards, and his books are arguably among the most celebrated picture books of all time.

His most popular picture book wouldn’t stay on the page, either. His ducks became permanent sculptures fixed in Boston Public Garden, and even made a way for international diplomacy as part of the START Treaty between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. in 1991.

A picture book is a powerful piece of art.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • what it was like having Robert McCloskey for a Dad
  • one of the hardest parts of his life as a successful artist
  • what his picture books gave the world

Think you love Make Way for Ducklings? Just wait till you meet the man who wrote them onto the page.

  • Sal McCloskey and Paul Zelinksy at Boston Public Garden
  • Duckling Day Parade! (That’s Paul Zelinsky in the hat, and Sal McCloskey in the overalls)
  • Sarah’s daughter, Allison, paying a visit to the ducks in Boston Public Garden, June 2021
  • Sarah with the ducklings, June 2021
  • Sarah and daughter, Allison, with sculptor Nancy Schön, June 2021

Listener Guide

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast:

01:22 Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
06:31 Let’s meet Robert McCloskey
11:18 Bob goes to New York
15:44 The fame was hard for him. So hard.
20:10 Jane McCloskey remembers her dad
21:32 Nancy Schön’s sculptures in Boston Public Garden
29:16 What was he like?
31:24 ‘I just forgot to fill it in.’
34:27 The affirming nature of Bob’s books
37:27 Take a farewell look…

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