It would be impossible to do justice to the many classics that have influenced contemporary children’s literature, but some illustrators really stand out. One that comes to mind is Robert McCloskey whose work is just as cherished today as it was decades ago. McCloskey’s books can grow with your children; Sal herself grows up in a couple of them, starting off with blueberry picking, losing her first tooth one morning in Maine, and then, while not named, looking suspiciously like an older self in Time of Wonder. If you’re inspired to learn more about McCloskey and his peers in the early part of the 20th century, check out this terrific essay, published by Horn Book back in the ’50s, on What Is a Picture Book.


McCloskey’s books are presented in order of age-appeal (youngest to oldest, but there is definite overlap). Every library should have a copy of these books, so ask next time you’re in! I don’t buy every book we enjoy, but our copies of Blueberries for Sal and Make Way for Ducklings are QUITE worn….Enjoy.

Blueberries for Sal (1948)
Make Way for Ducklings (1941; Caldecott Medal)
One Morning in Maine (1952)
Time of Wonder (1957; Caldecott Medal)
Lentil (1940)

Homer Price (1943; not really a picture book…)
What’s YOUR favorite McCloskey book?
cover images from goodreads
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