Friday, March 5, 2021

The Tale of the Mandarin Duck by Bette Midler - ESSENTIAL

The Tale of the Mandarin Duck
by Bette Midler, photographs by Michiko Kakutani and illustrations by Joana Avillezani,
 PICTURE BOOK, Random House, 2021. $19. 9780593176764 



Once upon a time . . . in a great city with lots of people (NYC), life was lively and exciting. They did all sorts of things together and life was great. But then, an invention that worked not only as a telephone, but also it played music, answered questions and was a camera, came to the city, and before long, everyone was looking at their screens and not at each other. Until, a beautiful bird came to town and people ran to see him - everyone was taking pictures with their phones, until a kid said "I'm going to see this with my eyes". So, others followed suit and just enjoyed watching the beautiful duck, but because their phones were put away, they started seeing each other again. 

"The Tale of the Mandarin Duck" is a timely story, well written by Bette Midler. Reading the author's note at the end, I discovered that it is based on a true story, and I love how Midler has woven in the message to look up and interact with more than your phone. The best part is Michiko Kakutani's breathtaking photography of New York City and the beautiful duck. I'll be showing this to my middle school teachers.

Lisa Librarian

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