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Make Way

The Story of Robert McCloskey, Nancy Schön,

and Some Very Famous Ducklings



Random House Studio

(pub.4.11.2023) 48 pages

Author: Angela Burke Kunkel

Illustrator: Claire Keane

Characters: Robert McCloskey & Nancy Schön


" In the beginning, there was a boy named Robert McCloskey, growing up in Ohio, his hands always moving, always creating. Many years later, after attending art school in Boston, he would reflect on his days wandering through Boston Garden and write the classic picture book Make Way for Ducklings.

In the beginning, there was also a girl named Nancy Schön. She grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, working in her father's greenhouse, twisting wire and boughs into wreaths. Many years later, Nancy would look at Robert's drawings in Make Way for Ducklings and get the seed of an idea. That seed became the beloved bronze sculptures of Mrs. Mallard and her eight ducklings that stand in Boston Garden today.

Tantalizing taste:

" Bob works until he has it just right. And finally, in sepia tones, what he captures most of all is a feeling - of looking for safety, a family, and of coming home, all wrapped up in a book."


"Still, even into high school, what Nancy can't outrun is the question in the back of her mind – where does she belong? She feels like a seed in the dirt, dormant and waiting to sprout. The only place she thrives is art class, her hands in the clay."

And something more: Angela Burke Kunkel, in the Author's Note explains that "The bronze figures [of the ducklings] were installed in the Boston Public Garden on a rainy October day in 1987, perfect weather for ducks. Schön's work on the project cemented a friendship with McCloskey that lasted until his death in 2003. With his blessing, Schön went on to sculpt characters from his other books, including the boy and dog from Lentil and the bear from Blueberries for Sal."


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