Fun Facts Friday: Robert McCloskey

September 15, 2023

Robert McCloskey (15 September, 1914 – 30 June, 2003) was an American author known for his children’s books, which he also illustrated. He is best known for his book Make Way For Ducklings.

Fun Facts Friday: Robert McCloskey
Books by Robert McCloskey*

Fun Facts about Robert McCloskey:

  1. John Robert McCloskey was born in Hamilton, Ohio. He went to public school and studied piano at night.
  2. For the rest of his life, Mr. McCloskey loved music and art. He even won a scholarship to Vesper George Art School in Boston. The Totem Pole he carved in a 1931 summer camp is now in a museum in his hometown.
  3. Even though he had the start of a promising art career in New York City, with awards, commissions, and exhibits, his career never took off. He barely sold any paintings and eventually moved back to Ohio.
  4. Using his childhood as inspiration, his first book, Lentil, was published in 1978. The story was about a boy and his harmonica.
  5. Soon after his first book, Robert McCloskey moved back to Boston to paint outdoor murals with Francis Scott Bradford. While painting, the two had deal with local ducks, which inspired Make Way For Ducklings. The illustrations weren’t a problem, but the author struggled with story itself.
  6. The book became a hit, and today there’s a sculpture of the a family of nine ducks in Boston Public Garden, sculpted by Nancy Schön . There’s also a version of the sculpture in Moscow, Russia. Ms. Schön also sculpted a boy and a dog from Lenti, which strands in his hometown of Hamilton, OH, as well as a sculpture in Boothbay Harbor, ME based on Blueberries for Sal.
  7. After World War II, in which he served as a sergeant, his wife and two daughters moved to Deer Isle, Main which, as well as the rest of New England, became the setting for the rest of his book.
  8. The author wrote eight picture books, which he also illustrated. He received two Caldecott Medals for best-illustrated picture book from the American Library Association.
  9. Mr. McCloskey maintained that his writing happens “sort of by accident”. He thinks them up in pictures, and then writes a sentence, or a paragraph in between.
  10. In 2000, the Library of Congress named Robert McCloskey a “Living Legend”.

Books by Robert McCloskey*

Zohar – Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books


Robert McCloskey | Wikipedia

Robert McCloskey | Ohio Reading Road Trip

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Fun Facts Friday: Robert McCloskey
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Fun Facts Friday: Robert McCloskey
Robert McCloskey (15 September, 1914 – 30 June, 2003) was an American author known for his children’s books, which he also illustrated.
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Man of la Book - A Bookish Blog
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