Synopses & Reviews
Edward loves his pet duck more than anything. He raised it from a baby, and now it follows him everywhere&150even to the big fancy hotel in Memphis where he works with his father. Everyone at the Peabody loves to watch that little duck do tricks; why, it can even waddle up and down in time to a John Philip Sousa march, which is why Edward decides to name it John Philip.
But one day the hotel owner finds John Philip in his lobby fountain and he is NOT amused. Until Edward has an idea. What if he can train a bevy of ducks to march along behind him, swim in the fountain all day, and then march out every evening? If Edward can do that, the owner tells him, he and John Philip will have a permanent place at the Peabody. But can it really be done?
Based on the real-life tradition of the Hotel Peabody Ducks, Patricia Polacco's latest picture book is one of her most charming to date.
"Polacco (Thank You, Mr. Falker) adds another feather to her picture-book cap with this fictionalized look at how a lobby fountain at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tenn., famously became home to a group of performing ducks. During the Depression, young Edward finds work with his father on the Peabody staff. Though he knows it's against the rules, Edward keeps a pet duckling at the hotel, where he teaches his web-footed friend to march to John Philip Sousa music. Almost all the hotel employees collude with him, but the strict general manager, Mr. Schutt, eventually discovers the secret and ends up challenging Edward to train a whole group of ducks to be a tourist attraction. Edward, more than up to the task, soon establishes himself as the hotel's first 'official Duckmaster,' a position that the real-life Edward Pembroke held for more than 50 years. Polacco once again taps her talent for weaving threads of history and family stories (this time, someone else's) into an appealing and enlightening package. With its carefully chosen, subtly phrased details, the well-paced tale offers a distinct snapshot of a particular time and place. The artist's signature gouache-and-pencil compositions a dusty, humble Tennessee farm; the neatly appointed hotel fountain and tables set for tea; proud parading ducks encourage readers to explore an entertaining and enduring tradition. Ages 5-up. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Based on the real-life tradition of the Hotel Peabody Ducks, the "New York Times" bestselling author pens a tale of how the famous duck march came about and made the hotel a Memphis landmark. Full color.