Skip to content


Be Strong: The Woman Who Sculpted "Make Way for Ducklings"!

Nancy Schon creating Duck Sculpture

Be Strong cover

BE STRONG: The Rise of Beloved Public Art Sculptor Nancy Schön will publish in March 2024.

But presales will be available exclusively on a Kickstarter Project in September, 2023. Books should be delivered in time for Christmas! 

Mims House Books is thrilled to be working with Nancy Schön on this authorized picture book biography of this amazing woman. To make sure the project finds the right readers, we've planned a Kickstarter for September.

And we need your help! Would you join us to make this book a success?

What can you do?

Sign up to be notified when the books are available!

You could soon be reading beside your favorite kid just like this!
Can you picture this for Christmas?

New Life for McCloskey’s Ducklings

From a simple story about a duckling family to Caldecott fame, to a beloved sculpture, to an inspiring picture book biography.

Make Way for Ducklings cover

 In 1942, Robert McCloskey received the Caldecott Medal for the best illustrated children's book of the year, for MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS.

In October, 1987, Nancy Schön's sculpture of the duck family was installed at Public Garden in Boston. 

Nancy Schön on Mother duck

Nancy Schön at about 90 years old.

She is now 95 years old and still making sculptures!

The ducklings that so charmed Robert McCloskey have had a long, illustrious life inspiring kids. And they are about to find new life in a picture book biography of Nancy Schön.

Nancy Schön’s Authorized Biography: The McCloskey Ducklings' Sculptor

Be inspired by a woman’s fight to create public sculptures for children. Against all odds, Nancy clung to these words: Be Strong.

Making the duck family sculpture was hard! Nancy worked and worked to find the right actions for each ducklings, echoing McCloskey's illustrations.

At her lowest moment, a friend gave her a sign with two simple words: Be Strong. Look back up at the black and white photo of Nancy working on the sculpture. You'll see the sign on the wall behind her. 

Somehow, Nancy dug deep and found the courage to keep on working.

And the ducklings changed her life. Since this popular sculpture, she has created over 20 more public art sculptures!

At the age of 95, she has been collaborating with Mims House Books on a picture book biography that will inspire kids with those words: Be Strong.

Inspiring a New Generation: SEL with Sculptor of Famous Ducklings

Sculptor Nancy Schon wanted one thing: to create public sculptures for children. To succeed, she needed the courage to “Be Strong.”

When we talked about this book, Nancy said she wanted to inspire kids to hang on during the hard times, to dig deep and find the courage to keep doing the work they've been given to do.

This is Social and Emotional Learning at its best. Creating the duckling sculpture was a deep, emotional experience for Nancy. She needed encouragement and an affirmation that she had the determination and courage inside herself to finish the work.

 Sign up now to be notified when this amazing Kickstarter project goes live.

We've got some fun rewards coming:

  • Triple-Signed Books - Nancy Schön (sculptor), Darcy Pattison (author), and Rich Davis (illustrator)
  • Signed, Numbered Photos of the Ducklings Sculpture - Signed by Nancy Schön
  • And, of course, books! Lots of books.
cover of Be Strong
Coming to Kickstarter in September, 2023

Added to cart