Artwork by the author of classic children’s books including “Make Way for Ducklings” and “One Morning in Maine” will soon be available on posters and note cards through a partnership with Maine Arts Publishing in Brunswick.
The estate of author and illustrator Robert McCloskey chose the independent publishing company to create the new product line including images from his books.
Many of McCloskey’s books were inspired by his summers with his family on the coast of Maine. McCloskey died in 2003.
“When people think of a Maine book, Robert McCloskey is probably the first author to come to mind. But he has an even wider reach than Maine. He’s a Caldecott winner and ‘Make Way for Ducklings’ has a monument in Boston that is beloved,” said Mary Peverada, coordinator of youth services at the Portland Public Library.
McCloskey was twice a winner of the Caldecott Medal, awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. Many of his titles have been printed in more than 25 languages.
“His books are classics. When you think of children’s books, you think of (Ludwig Bemelman’s) ‘Madeline’ and you think of ‘Make Way for Ducklings’ in the same breath,” Peverada said.
Elizabeth Bird, youth materials collections specialist at the New York Public Library, did a poll of readers’ top 100 picture books of all time. “Make Way for Ducklings” ranked No. 6.
“We are ecstatic to have this opportunity to work with the McCloskey family,” said Dede Wilder, lead designer and co-founder of Maine Arts Publishing. “Not only is it an honor to work with Robert McCloskey’s images as a graphic designer, but to be part of a project that will bring his work to another generation of young people in new graphic forms beyond his traditional books.”
The publishing company, founded in 2012, is at the Fort Andross Mill in Brunswick. It works with more than 35 Maine artists. Its products are created and printed in the state and are available through specialty gift shops, galleries and museums in Maine. The line will be formally introduced at the New England Products Trade Show in Portland from Saturday to Monday.
Representatives of the McCloskey estate could not be reached for comment.
Jessica Hall can be contacted at 791-6316 or at: