Well, well, hello, ducky! Bette Midler announced on Thursday she’ll be publishing a children’s picture book with Random House next year about, wait for it, New York’s hot duck. Lest you’ve forgotten because we live in hell and 2018 was 74 years ago, the hot duck was a colorful mandarin duck that appeared in Central Park and captivated us all. Midler’s book, titled The Tale of the Mandarin Duck: A Modern Fable, will feature photographs from Michiko Kakutani and illustrations from Joana Avillez.
According to a release, the bird in Midler’s story has “the magical effect of rousing onlookers to make personal connections with one another over shared experience.” Which, honestly, doesn’t sound so much like magic as simply what happened when thousands of people traipsed around Central Park looking for this silly duck and fretted any time the duck could not be found. “This story emphasizes the universal joy that comes from being with others, and celebrates the odd ducks of the city, both human and feathered,” the release, which I’m pretty sure just called me weird, also said. The book is slated for February 2021. Until then, I’ll be picturing Midler doing the “You Don’t Own Me” routine from the end of First Wives Club, but it’s her, Diane Keaton, and the mandarin duck. (Apologies to Ms. Hawn.)