Author: Robert McCloskey
Illustrator: Robert McCloskey
Publisher: Penguin Group
Audience: Ages 4-8
Summary: This is the story about a family of mallards (mom, dad and 8 ducklings) who move from one home to another. In the parents’ quest to find a hatching location, they meet a police officer who will later help them with their move. When the ducklings are old enough, the father sets out to find a place to live and the mother cares for and teaches the ducklings, including moving them from one place to another. As they move to their new home, the police officer and fellow officers help to block traffic so that the family can make a safe journey to their new home.
Literary elements at work in the story: This picture book takes place in downtown Boston on the river and in the public park, and is told from the third person perspective of an omniscient narrator. The characterization includes the parent ducks caring for their children from before hatching and after, as well as them befriending humans who assist in their care.
How does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economic/ability make a difference to the story? The story is set in the 1940s in Boston and portrays primarily a white society as secondary characters. The culture is more upscale, based upon clothing, transportation and the location of the story. The assistance in the story comes from five white men, while the women simply “admire the cuteness” of the duck family. The assumption is that the only workers are male while women shop, walk animals and play with children. In contrast, however, the mother duck is the teacher and caregiver to the ducklings.
Scripture: Philippians 2:3-4
Theology: Because God created, loves and cares for humanity, we are to love and care for all of God’s creation. We are to put the interests, needs and care of others above the care of ourselves, as God did for us through Christ Jesus.
Faith Talk Questions:
- Why did Mr. & Mrs. Mallard keep looking for a good place to hatch the ducklings?
- Do you think your Mom and Dad make a safe place for you to live?
- Does God want us to be safe?
- Does God give us people to watch over us? Who are some of those people?
Review prepared by Union Presbyterian Seminary student Mason Todd
Make Way for Ducklings by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.