Bette Midler can light up a stage and the silver screen, and soon she’ll be able to add children’s book author to her list of accolades. Her new book, The Tale of the Mandarin Duck: A Modern Fable, is set to hit shelves in February 2021. Keep reading for the scoop on this celebrity-penned book.

photo: James White Trunk via Random House

Midler’s new book will be published by Random House Books for Young Readers and will feature photographs from Michiko Kakutani (you might recall she’s the former chief book critic for The New York Times) and illustrations from Joana Avillez. According to the publisher, Midler’s new book is inspired by “the real-life, rainbow-colored mandarin duck that appeared in New York City’s Central Park in 2018, Midler’s modern fable imbues the duck with the magical effect of rousing onlookers to make personal connections with one another over shared experience, which has never been more valued than in this new world of self-isolation and social distancing.”

photo: Random House

Expect a book that will teach the joy about being around others and accepting the unique ducks around us, both human and feathered.

“I am so delighted with the way this project turned out,” says Midler. “I have known Michi Kakutani for years, but I never knew her as a photographer, and when I saw her pictures, I knew there was a story there. It came to me practically overnight: the duck that had enchanted an entire city. The real duck’s visit to New York was a cause for celebration; everyone who saw him fell instantly in love. I wanted to memorialize his visit, and let readers know that the natural world is full of creatures just like him, if we only take the time to raise our eyes and actually see them.”

Preorder your book here.

—Erin Lem

 

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