|Born||John Robert McCloskey|
September 14, 1914
|Died||June 30, 2003 (aged 88)|
Deer Isle, Maine, USA
|Alma mater||Vesper George Art School|
|Genre||Children's picture books|
|Notable awards||Caldecott Medal |
|Relatives||Ruth Sawyer (mother-in-law) Melba McCloskey (sister) Dorothy McCloskey (sister) Howard McCloskey (father) Mable McCloskey (mother)|
John Robert McCloskey (September 15, 1914 – June 30, 2003) was an American writer and illustrator of children's books. He wrote and also illustrated nine picture books, and won two Caldecott Medals from the American Library Association for the year's best-illustrated picture book. Four of the nine books were set in Maine: Blueberries for Sal, One Morning in Maine, Time of Wonder, and Burt Dow, Deep-water Man; the last three were all set on the coast. His best-known work is Make Way For Ducklings, set in Boston. In longer works, he both wrote and illustrated Homer Price and he illustrated Keith Robertson's Henry Reed series.[a]
McCloskey was born in Hamilton, Ohio, on September 15, 1914 to Howard and Mabel McCloskey. He had two sisters, Melba and Dorothy. As a teen, Bob was a camper-turned-counselor at Camp Campbell Gard, where at age 16 he carved a totem pole which stood at the camp for over 50 years. His work on the totem pole is said to have led to him being chosen to create the bas relief and cast aluminum pieces decorating the Hamilton Municipal building in 1934, when he was 19.
In 1940, he married Peggy Durand, daughter of the children's writer Ruth Sawyer. They had two daughters, Sally and Jane, and settled in New York State, spending summers on Scott Island, a small island off Little Deer Isle in East Penobscot Bay. McCloskey's wife and elder daughter Sally are the models for little Sal and her mother in Blueberries for Sal (1948), a picture book set on a "Blueberry Hill" in the vicinity. Three others of his picture books are set on the coast and concern the sea.
Peggy died in 1991. Twelve years later on June 30, 2003, McCloskey died in Deer Isle, Maine.
McCloskey won the 1942 Caldecott Medal for Make Way for Ducklings. The story, set in Boston, Massachusetts, features a mallard pair that nests on an island in the Charles River. After raising eight ducklings on the island, the mother leads them to the Public Garden downtown. A friendly policeman stops traffic to let them cross a busy street. The story soon became a Boston institution. Sculptor Nancy Schön created a bronze statue of Mrs. Mallard and the ducklings in 1987, installed along a walkway between pond and street. There thousands of children climb them every year and many more people photograph them; the park is also the annual site of a Make Way for Ducklings Mother's Day parade, featuring hundreds of children dressed in the costumes of their favorite characters. Since 2003 Make Way for Ducklings is the official children's book of Massachusetts.
McCloskey won a second Caldecott Medal in 1958 for Time of Wonder. Meanwhile, he had been a runner-up in 1949 for Blueberries for Sal, in 1953 for One Morning in Maine, and in 1954 for JourneyCake, Ho!, the latter written by his mother-in-law Sawyer. In a 1958 magazine article titled "Bob McCloskey, Inventor", another Medal winner Marc Simont observed that "[his] talent for devising mechanical contraptions is topped only by his ability to turn out books that carry off the Caldecott Medal."
One chapter from Homer Price was adapted as a short film, The Doughnuts (1963). The same chapter was adapted for an ABC Weekend Special called "Homer and the Wacky Doughnut Machine" (1977). Another chapter, "The Case of the Cosmic Comic", was also adapted as a short film.
In 1964, film producer Morton Schindel and Weston Woods Studios made Robert McCloskey, an 18-minute documentary that is sometimes screened in art schools. It shows McCloskey sitting in Boston Public Garden intercut with pages from his sketchbook drawings for Make Way for Ducklings, while the illustrator recounts experiences that influenced his work and discusses the relationship of craftsmanship to inspiration.
- Totem Pole (summer 1931), now housed in the Hamilton, Ohio Municipal Building museum — McCloskey carved the totem pole while a counselor at Camp Campbell Gard where it stood for over 50 years
- Sculpture (completed 1935), Hamilton, Ohio Municipal Building — McCloskey created models for relief bias.
- Murals (1939), including six formerly housed in the Sloan Building (E52) on the MIT campus — McCloskey assisted Francis Scott Bradford depicting Beacon Hill socialites in large murals commissioned by the Lever Brothers of Cambridge, Massachusetts
In Boston Public Garden a sculpture of a family of nine ducks, by the sculptor Nancy Schön, installed in 1987, commemorates McCloskey's Make Way for Ducklings. A version was installed in Moscow in 1991. In Hamilton, Ohio, McCloskey's hometown, another sculpture by Schön, installed in 2002, depicts a boy and dog from McCloskey's first book, Lentil, published in 1940. McCloskey named the boy Lentil, but in a competition among schoolchildren the dog was given the name Harmony. In Boothbay Harbor, Maine, in the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, another sculpture by Schön, dedicated in 2010 and known as Sal's Bear, depicts a baby bear and a nearby spilled pail of blueberries, based on the drawings in McCloskey's Blueberries for Sal.
- Lentil (1940)
- Make Way for Ducklings (1941), Caldecott Medal winner
- Homer Price (1943)
- Blueberries for Sal (1948), a Caldecott Honor Award
- Centerburg Tales: More Adventures of Homer Price (1951); also issued as More Homer Price
- One Morning in Maine (1952), a Caldecott Honor Award
- Time of Wonder (1957), Caldecott Medal winner
- Burt Dow, Deep-water Man (1963)
As illustrator only
- Yankee Doodle's Cousins (1941) written by Anne Malcolmson
- Tree Toad: Adventures of the Kid Brother (1942) by Bob Davis, illus. McCloskey and Charles Dana Gibson
- Young America's English Book One (1942) by Helen Fern Daringer
- The Man Who Lost His Head (1942) by Claire Huchet Bishop; paperback reissue (1970) ISBN 0-440-84348-0
- Trigger John's Son (1949) by Tom Robinson
- Journey Cake, Ho (1953) by Ruth Sawyer, a Caldecott Honor Book
- Junket: The Dog Who Liked Everything "Just So" (1955) by Anne H. White
- Henry Reed, Inc. (1958), by Keith Robertson[a]
- Henry Reed's Journey (1963), by Robertson
- Henry Reed's Babysitting Service (1966), by Robertson
- Henry Reed's Big Show (1970), by Robertson
- Blau, Eleanor (2003-07-01). "Robert McCloskey, 88, of 'Make Way for Ducklings,' Is Dead". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
- "Biography of Robert McCloskey". Heritage Hall. Retrieved 2020-09-14.
- "Caldecott Medal Winners, 1938 - Present | Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)". Ala.org. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
- "The Journal News from Hamilton, Ohio on November 9, 1972 · Page 15". Newspapers.com.
- "Robert McCloskey". prezi.com.
- "Totem Pole". hamiltonheritagehall.org. Retrieved 2021-10-22.
- "Biography of Robert McCloskey". Heritage Hall Museum of Hamilton, OH. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
- Google Maps: scott island, deer isle. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
- "Make Way for Ducklings, Boston by Nancy Schön". Schon.com. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
- "CIS: State Symbols". Sec.state.ma.us. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
- "Bob McCloskey, Inventor - The Horn Book". Hbook.com. 2013-07-18. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
- "Роберт Макклоски | Либрусек". Lib.rus.ec. 2011-04-24. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
- "Awards & Honors | About the Library | Library of Congress". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Archived from the original on October 14, 2009.
- "The Doughnuts (1963)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
- "ABC Weekend Specials: Season 1, Episode 4 : Homer and the Wacky Doughnut Machine". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
- "Robert McCloskey Movie Reviews, Information and Film Reviews for Robert McCloskey the Movie". Movierevie.ws. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
- "Hobby Classes for "Y" Boys Taught by M'Closkey". Newspaper Archive. Retrieved 2021-10-21.
- "Totem Pole". Heritage Hall. Retrieved 2019-04-18.
- "Biography of Robert McCloskey | Heritage Hall". hamiltonheritagehall.org. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
- "Does Anyone Want a Few Robert McCloskey Paintings?". Boston Magazine. 2016-07-28. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
- "Make Way for Ducklings, (sculpture)". Smithsonian Art Inventories Catalog. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
- "Lentil and His Dog Harmony by Nancy Schön". Schon.com. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
- "Sal's Bear by Nancy Schön". www.schon.com. Retrieved 30 June 2020.