Make Way for Ducklings

Book review by
Sally Snyder, Common Sense Media
Make Way for Ducklings Book Poster Image
Kids and parents enjoy this story about family.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

This book demonstrates the importance of home as Mr. and Mrs. Mallard spend a good amount of the story searching for the perfect community, not only for themselves but for their ducklings as well. Make Way for Ducklings reminds readers to take a step back and remember to appreciate the sacrifices that are made everyday to ensure that they live a better life.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are two characters who sacrifice a great amount to make sure their ducklings live a life as comfortable and privileged as possible. They also befriend a police officer who is kind enough to look after and protect the large Mallard family as they journey ashore and encounter challenges daunting for animals their size. The officer's generous actions encourages readers to help those in need, especially those who are often easily overlooked.

Violence & Scariness

The duck family is nearly run over by automobiles as they cross the street.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there is nothing of concern in this gentle story of a family of ducks, told skillfully and straightforwardly. The ducklings are raised by the mother and father ducks in such a way that considers their overall surroundingss and utilizes resources that their community provides.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bysarah_from_yale April 9, 2008

Great Children's book

Although the tale alone makes for a great bedtime story, the pictures are what gives this book it's real charm. Simply drawn yet rich in detail, kids will... Continue reading

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What's the story?

Honk, honk! \"Quack!\" Watch out for the cars, Mrs. Mallard! She must convey her eight ducklings safely across several busy Boston streets to the Public Garden so they can meet their father. Children and parents will enjoy sharing this endearing story about family. The illustrations are all in sepia charcoal, which will disappoint some kids used to full color.


Is it any good?

Family is the central theme in this engaging Robert McCloskey classic. The mallard ducks illustrate love and care in the family. McCloskey describes the adult ducks carefully selecting a nesting site and, later, teaching the ducklings basic survival skills. Tension and adventure are created in the story during their dangerous trip across busy streets to get to the Public Garden and safety.

Today's children respond with enthusiasm and affection for the ducks and ducklings, barely noticing the dated cars or police officer's uniform. Sepia-toned charcoal art on cream-colored paper conveys the story's gentle love and warmth. Today's children, however, may find the one-tone illustrations dull. Children will appreciate being able to count all eight ducklings in each illustration of the family and will check to see that all are present.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the duck family's search for a good home. What do they need for a good place to live? Did this book make you think differently about how "regular" people things might seem to animals?

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