McCloskey, Robert (John Robert McCloskey) məklŏ´skē [key], 1914–2003, American writer and illustrator of children's books, b. Hamilton, Ohio. He studied at the Vesper George Art School, Boston, the National Academy of Design, New York City, and, after serving in World War II, at the American Academy, Rome. McCloskey's finely drawn images of small-town life reflect both his skill as an artist and his belief in the inherent goodness of mid-20th-century America. His best-known work, Make Way for Ducklings (1941; Caldecott Medal) is about a family of mallard ducks in Boston. Other works include Lentil (1940), about a boy who, like the author, loved to play the harmonica, and Homer Price (1943) and Centerburg Tales, More Adventures of Homer Price (1951), about a boy inventor. Blueberries for Sal (1948), One Morning in Maine (1952), Time of Wonder (1957; Caldecott Medal), and Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man (1963) center on life on a Maine island. McCloskey also illustrated a number of children's books by other authors.
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