26 September 2012

Birthday for Ducklings

This Saturday, 29 September, the Friends of the Public Garden in Boston will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the installation of Nancy Schön’s Make Way for Ducklings sculpture.

The duck family from Robert McCloskey’s book were already local heroes when these bronze statues were installed, but they’re now truly iconic. Every seven years or so someone on a drunken lark steals one of the ducklings, only to return it sheepishly and anonymously a few mornings later, so the ducklings remain in the news and public hearts.

The celebration is scheduled from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.
The party features a variety of games and activities including music, magic, and juggling. Children may create their own birthday card to wish Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings well on their birthday, and be sure to stay for a reading of Make Way for Ducklings.

Of course, a birthday party isn't complete without singing "Happy Birthday" to the ducks!
Last month Anita Silvey shared some behind-the-scenes stories of how McCloskey created the book on her Book-A-Day Almanac:
He went to the parks and the Museum of Natural History—and hundreds of duck drawings emerged from his pen. Finally, in an act of desperation, he went down to a market in Greenwich Village, bought some ducks, and brought them back to his apartment and put them in his bathtub. Then, every day, he woke up with a tissue to clean up after them in one hand and a sketchbook in the other. But the ducks still moved too quickly for McCloskey to capture them in detail.
The solution was perhaps too typical for mid-20th-century American authors and artists: liquor!


Anonymous said...

I'll bite: for the ducks, or for the illustrator?

J. L. Bell said...

At that moment, for the ducklings. Of course, the humans had the red wine around.