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The Tale of the Mandarin Duck

The Tale of the Mandarin Duck

A Modern Fable


The Tale of the Mandarin Duck

About the Book

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Inspired by the real-life rainbow-colored Mandarin Duck who appeared in New York’s Central Park in 2018, this modern fable by Bette Midler celebrates the connections people make with each other and the world around them. 
How do you get people to appreciate what is right in front of them? In The Tale of the Mandarin Duck, it takes a mysterious, beautiful duck and a clear-eyed kid to point out the obvious! Bette Midler’s distinctive voice joins striking photos of the real duck by Michiko Kakutani and charming black-and-white drawings by Joana Avillez. This book will have readers of all ages coming back to visit the fantastical interpretation of New York City and its odd ducks—both feathered and human. 
An afterword by Ms. Kakutani adds details to the facts behind this one-of-a-kind story of the Mandarin Duck.

Product Details

On sale: February 16, 2021
Age: 3-7 years
Grade: Grades 6-8
Page count: 40 Pages
ISBN: 9780593176764
Reading level: Lexile: AD640L | Fountas/Pinnell: N

Author Bio

Bette Midler is an American actress, singer, and comedienne. She remembers the time before cell phones. Visit her on Twitter and Instagram.
Michiko Kakutani is a Pulitzer Prize–winning literary critic and the former chief book critic of The New York Times. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Death of Truth.
Joana Avillez is an illustrator from New York City, where she still lives and works. Her clients include Apartamento, Gucci, Hermès, the Museum of Modern Art, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, The New York Times, The Paris Review, Penguin Random House, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Vogue, Zeit Magazine, and more.


Midler has crafted a loving ode to the people of New York…. A celebration of beauty—in a city, in its people, and in an extraordinary avian visitor.” –Kirkus Reviews, starred review

This story is rooted in reality yet slyly surreal…. There is a crackling creative synergy among the book’s collaborators, each of whom contributes bountifully to the storytelling.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review