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Happy holidays from The Horn Book!

I dusted off the old party-planning hat for The Horn Book’s holiday celebration last week — the first outing since my return to the HB in October. This year’s outing was a hybrid lunch/field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts. There was delicious food (and wine!) at the MFA’s snazzy restaurant Bravo, good conversation, and lots of beautiful art.



L–R: Roger, Lolly, Katie, Shoshana, Katrina, Martha, Cindy, and Elissa. We missed you, Siân and Kitty!

The major reason for choosing the MFA as our venue? That beautiful art currently includes the exhibit Make Way for Ducklings: The Art of Robert McCloskey. As you might imagine from the exhibit title, McCloskey’s Caldecott-winning (and famously beloved-by-Bostonians) picture book about Mrs. and Mr. Mallard and their search for a perfect home for their ducklings was front and center.

follow the (webbed!) footprints

follow the (webbed!) footprints


the exhibit’s introductory signage and interior Make Way for Ducklings gallery


a dummy version of Make Way for Ducklings‘s most famous scene


a mock-up of Nancy Schön’s iconic Boston Public Garden sculpture, which was initially planned to include a (larger-than-life) Officer Michael

Of course, sketches and original art from McCloskey’s other children’s books — Blueberries for Sal, One Morning in Maine, Burt Dow, Deep-water Man, Time of Wonder, and the Homer Price books — were also well represented.

the final art (above) and an early version

the final art (above) and an early version of the paint-splashing scene in Burt Dow — McCloskey changed the direction of the splashing to keep the momentum of the spread moving toward story’s end

What a treat to see these pieces of children’s lit history with my fellow children’s lit aficionados! The exhibit runs until June 18th; don’t miss it!


the MFA at night

Happy holidays and happy new year to you and yours from The Horn Book! May your new year be full of good books.

Cynthia K. Ritter About Cynthia K. Ritter

Cynthia K. Ritter is associate editor of The Horn Book Guide. She earned a master's degree in children's literature from Simmons College.



  1. Happy Holidays to All!!!

    Wow, that Robert McCloskey exhibit looks fantastic!!!

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