Happy Birthday Robert McCloskey!

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"ku-plink, ku-plank, ku-plunk"…

Onomatopoeia! When you read these words, don't you instantly see the little tin bucket in the hands of Sal and hear it filling up with blueberries? Or when you're at the park and see a momma duck with her ducklings, don't you think about Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack and their adventures in the Boston Public Garden? Thanks to Robert McCloskey and his captiviating, classic stories, Blueberries for Sal and Make Way for Ducklings, I do!

McCloskey was born on September 15, 1914 in Hamilton, Ohio. At eighteen he moved to Boston on a scholarship from the Vesper George Art School, then later moved to NYC to study at the National Academy of Design. I find it interesting that he considered himself an artist and visual storyteller before a writer and in his own words, he reveals, “It is just sort of an accident that I write books. I really think up stories in pictures and just fill in between the pictures with a sentence or a paragraph or a few pages of words.” Here's to happy "accidents!"

McCloskey wrote and illustrated seven other must-read books including Lentil, Homer Price, One Morning In Maine, Centerburg Tales, Time of Wonder, and Burt Dow, Deep Water Man. Burt Dow is a personal favorite for it's Jonah-esque inspired story, brilliant use of 60s pop color, and Jackson Pollock style paint drippings!

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Mccloskey_bnd_LRG copy From Blackbird & Company:

Great stories have the ability to instruct, inpsire and enlighten and Blackbird & Company's Discovery Guides provide a rich framework for incorporating literature into your core curriculum.

Explore and celebrate Robert McCloskey with your young children by using our Earlybird Author Unit. It is a six week guide, designed for 1st and 2nd graders that takes them through five of his classic stories while working through entry-level literature discovery exercises, complete with vocabulary, comprehension, character analysis, journaling and creative activities.

For your 3-5th grade children, our Homer Price Literature Discovery Guide provides a comic, nostalgic romp through McCloskey's small town America with the one-and-only Homer Price. In six short, imaginative tales, we follow Homer on his hilarious escapades, where challenges most certainly arise…but where things seem to always turn out ok!

For more on McCloskey listen to a short interview with him from the The Horn Book Radio Review.