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A Tribute to Children’s Author Robert McCloskey

Jane McCloskey writes a loving tribute to her father in Robert McCloskey: A Private Life in Words and Pictures (Smith/Kerr Assoc, 256pgs). The children’s book author is best known for his classic picture books Make Way For Ducklings, One Morning in Maine and Blueberries for Sal. Though these award-winning books were written decades ago, the stories are timeless and remain popular with children today. In her own book, Jane, the writer’s youngest daughter and sister of Sal, presents a lively depiction of their family life in Maine, a place that inspired many of McCloskey’s stories. Jane also touches on the family’s time in New York and Mexico. Though they all shared a very loving bond, she admits that, like any family, there were a few bumps in the road. “Sal’s childhood was less happy than mine, while her adulthood has been happier and more successful,” she writes.

The book includes many examples of McCloskey’s beautiful illustrations done in a variety of media, some of which have never been shown publicly. Jane’s words married with her father’s art give a touching glimpse into the life of a very private man. “Reading the book is like taking a dip in Maine summer water: Bracing, invigorating, bringing all your sense alive. Put aside The Hunger Games for a few blissful moments, and enjoy McCloskey’s nourishing games, detailed so vividly”, states Ken Tucker in an article for Entertainment Weekly.

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