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McCloskey, Robert


Born: September 15, 1914

Ohio connection: Birth

The unforgettable duck family in Robert McCloskey's Make Way for Ducklings continues to delight readers of all ages, and the book earned its creator the first of two Caldecott Medals. Born in Hamilton, Ohio on September 15, 1914, McCloskey was initially interested in music and inventing but turned to art, with a scholarship to Boston's Vesper George School of Art. In 1934, McCloskey was commissioned to create over 20 bas-reliefs in stone for the municipal building in Hamilton. He celebrated his Midwestern upbringing in his first three books, Lentil; Homer Price; and its sequel, Centerburg Tales. McCloskey also set several stories on an island off the coast of Maine where he spent summers with his wife and daughters. Blueberries for Sal and One Morning in Maine were both Caldecott Honor books. With Time of Wonder, McCloskey became the first illustrator to receive the Caldecott Medal twice. McCloskey died in Maine on June 30, 2003, and his books continue to be treasured by young and old. This affection was made tangible by sculptor Nancy Schon whose creation of Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings stands in Boston Common, while her life-size replica of Lentil marches down the street in McCloskey's hometown of Hamilton.

Prix de Rome, 1939; Caldecott Medal, 1942, for Make Way for Ducklings, and 1958, for Time of Wonder; Caldecott Medal honor book award, 1949, for Blueberries for Sal, and 1953, for One Morning in Maine; D.Litt., Miami University, Oxford, OH, 1964; D.Let., Mount Holyoke College, 1967; Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal, 1974, for "continued distinguished contribution to children's literature"; D.Litt., University of Maine, 1990; Make Way for Ducklings, Homer Price, Blueberries for Sal, One Morning in Maine, and Time of Wonder have been selected as notable books by the American Library Association.