by Dean Faulkner Wells; children's book (ages 7-9) about the ducks that swim in the fountain of Memphis's Peabody Hotel; illus. by Renee Boyles; cloth.
“Every so often we discover with pleasure a story which deserves to become a classic. Crafted with love and gentle humor, Belle-Duck at The Peabody may be just that: a tale destined to be enjoyed by generations of children like the works of Beatrix Potter, Ernest Thompson Seton, and E.B. White. Wells’ tale of a family of ducks in the fountain of The Peabody Hotel in Memphis is based on a true story. In 1930, two hunters dropped some ducks into the fountain as a prank. A hotel employee helped them adjust to life at the top, and they became local stars….Tender comical drawings by prize-winning artist Renee Boyles partner the text. Memorable ones include a fierce dog discovering the ducklings and a pocketed, peeking Belle.”
– The Birmingham News
“Parents, this is a tale for your children on the adventures of Belle and Willie and their mother, Maggie. Hunters who caught these three ducks don’t quite know what to do with them; so they bring them to The Peabody Hotel in Memphis….”
The Commercial Appeal Mid-South Magazine
“Belle, the baby duckling, and Willie, her brother, were barely hatched when they were captured by hunters. Soon they found themselves in a huge city, in a huge building with a marble pond where they swim every day to the delight of visitors. Dean Faulkner Wells tells a delightful story to explain how the ducks first came to the fountain of The Peabody Hotel in Memphis. Belle is happy in her new home, but Willie, the renegade (named for another prominent Mississippi author, Willie Morris) longs to return to the freedom of the skies….Renee Boyles’ illustrations of the ducks in the wild and in the Peabody lobby add to the pleasure any child will find in this book.”
“This is a children’s story recommended for parents interested in starting young children on a rich regional literary journey. Dean Faulkner Wells’ Belle-Duck at The Peabody is a book to be savored in its simplicity yet is full of symbolism. The art work by Renee Boyles is beautifully done.”
The Arkansas Democrat