This picture is an iillustration from one of my favorite childhood books, Make Way for Ducklings, written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey. It's about Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and their eight ducklings: Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack. In the beginning, the Mallards must find a place to build their nest. After their eight ducklings are born, they must brave the streets of Boston to settle in their permanent home in Boston's Public Garden.
I loved this book. When I was little, I particularly enjoyed reciting the names of the ducklings. (We pronounced "Ouack" as "Oo-ack".)
I thought it had been lost forever, so I bought another copy when SonnyeBoy was little. It, too, disappeared -- probably donated.
Then, on the day we closed on our house, our Realtor® handed it to me.
See, I used to babysit for our Realtor. She grew up next door to me, in my gramma's former house. When she was little, my Mom gave it to her Mom. When our Realtor was cleaning out her Mom's things, she found the book.
It's pretty much falling apart at the seams -- it's the 1941 edition, after all. I think it was my brother's book first, because he wrote his name on the cover in pencil. Many other pages are lavishly illustrated by him, my sister, and me. There's a drawing of a duck, numbers alongside illustrations of the ducklings (so you could see at a glance that there were eight), and a page of spelling words (I think) jotted down in red crayon.
As soon as I could, I re-read it. It's still one of my favorites.