Once upon a time, New York City became obsessed with a "hot duck," as it was dubbed, who lived in Central Park. And now actress, singer, author, and Broadway star Bette Midler is writing a children's book about it all.
Midler will author the upcoming children's book, The Tale of the Mandarin Duck: A Modern Fable, which will focus on a mandarin duck living in Central Park and "celebrates the connections people make with each other and the world around them." The book will take Midler's words and put them alongside photographs of the duck, taken by former New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani, along with original illustrations from Joana Avillez.
In case you forgot about the "hot" mandarin duck that took New York City by storm a couple years back, here's a refresher. The duck made its first appearance in New York's Central Park in October 2018 and park goers were immediately taken with it. The duck's colorful feathers and unique look were a much welcomed change — especially since mandarin ducks are from eastern Siberia, China, and Japan and are rarely found in New York City, as The Guardian explains. The duck quickly became an overnight celebrity, according to the New York Times, and drew crowds to Central Park just to get a glimpse at it.
Clearly Midler also couldn't get enough. She told ABC News in a statement that she thought of the book after seeing Kakutani's pictures of the duck. "It came to me practically overnight: the duck that had enchanted an entire city," she said.
"The real duck's visit to New York was a cause for celebration; everyone who saw him fell instantly in love," she added. "I wanted to memorialize his visit, and let readers know that the natural world is full of creatures just like him, if only we take our time to raise our eyes and actually see them."
The book is recommended for readers ages 3 to 7, but readers of all ages will surely love this "fantastical interpretation" of New York City and the ducks and people that inhabit it, according to Penguin Random House.
The Tale of the Mandarin Duck: A Modern Fable will be published on Feb. 16, 2021 and you can pre-order it on Amazon right now for $18.99.