Signed 50th Anniversary Printing of "Make Way for Ducklings" with its promotional band

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McCloskey, Robert. Make Way for Ducklings (50th Anniversary printing signed by McCloskey on a bookplate and with the “Celebrating 50 years” promotional band). New York: Viking Press, 1941/[1991]. Caldecott Award Winner, 1942. ISBN: 0-670-45149-5

A Fine copy of this collectible edition of McCloskey’s most popular work in a Fine dust jacket that has been protected for some time in a heavy Brodart sleeve. A “With best wishes from the author” bookplate, signed by McCloskey, is pasted in the middle of the half-title page. In addition, this copy retains the rarely-seen “Celebrating 50 Years | 1941-1991” promotional band laid over the dust jacket.

The book is quarter-bound in brown cloth on the spine with green paper covering the boards. The title is in bright gilt on the spine and in a matching brown color along with an illustration of Mrs. Mallard and the ducklings on the front cover. The book is in Fine condition. The corners are sharp and the book shows no wear. Text block is tight, bright and unmarked.

The unclipped dust jacket ($12.95) is also in Fine condition with no chips or tears. It has the gold Caldecott Medal sticker on the front panel. There are some smudges on the rear panel where the cloth binding ends, as is often the case with quarter-bound books. The promotional band has a couple of smudges on the front (the darkest of which is 1/4" above the “b” of “Celebrating”)  and a couple of vertical green smudges (3/4” and 1/2") on the back.

Collation: [72 pp.] 62 illus.: brown and white-62/illustrated endpapers and title page/lithographic crayon on stone/30.4cm x 22.8cm.

McCloskey’s tale of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard’s attempt to find the right location in which to raise their ducklings has been a favorite of children and their parents for several generations and is celebrated by a popular statue installation at the entrance to Boston’s Public Garden, the setting for much of the book. In their 1982 annotated bibliography Newberry and Caldecott Medal and Honor Books, Peterson and Solt wrote, “McCloskey’s accurate geographical information, both in text and illustrations, lends credence to this tale, as do his anatomically accurate drawings of ducks and ducklings in flight and foot.” They conclude, “McCloskey’s work remains a favorite with children as he offers them the chance to identify with the triumph of small over big; young over old; innocence and naiveté over experience and maturity” (pp. 247-48).