Quacker The Duck
Ricky Van Shelton has captured the hearts
of millions of country music fans with his string of five platinum and three gold records.
In 1992, he created a duck with a heart of gold. Quacker the Duck is a lovable wide-eyed
character who looks at the world with children's books, entitled Tales
From A Duck Named Quacker published through his own company.
sold more than 200,000 copies, RVS Books.
What is most intriguing, though, is Shelton's entry into the children's book world
through a series of stories. Tales From A Duck Named Quacker -- The Story Begins, Quacker
Meets Mrs. Moo and Quacker Meets Canadian Goose offer youngsters little-talked about (at
least in children's literature) messages. There is obvious satisfaction and a relaxed
sense of wonder in Shelton's voice as he describes how this all came about."I guess
some people think it's kind of silly but they were really inspired from God," he
explains. "I'm not an author; never thought about writinga kid's book. I was looking
out the window of a hotel one day and all of a sudden, it was like, I didn't hear a voice,
but this is the way it seemed. It was like 'Sit down and write!" He becomes almost
breathless as he continues. "I immediately sat down and grabbed a pencil and I
started writing... and all of a sudden it was finished and there was Tales From A Duck
It's a delightful little
story, beautifully illustrated, with the first in a series of subtle clues to the younger
set. You see Quacker is a duck who wags his tail like a dog. Young readers discover
through Shelton's rhythm and rhyme that It's okay to be yourself, and when wondering about
some-thing that may seem different or strange, or just about anything at all? Why,
just ask! Shelton goes on about this creative process. "I wrote the second one the
same way," he says. "And I sat down and tried to write the third one myself and
I couldn't do it. I had to wait, 'til it was inspired again, not thinking about
it..." He speaks of the "goodness" in the books, and the "values"
expressed, rather than morals, "because morals seems to be like a giant issue
something. There's no giant issues in these books..."
(Taken from the article in
the Jan/Feb 1995 issue of ART TIMES, written by Ellen Geisel)
"The books have
been very successful, and the book publishers said I couldn't do it," Shelton says.
"When I first went to them, they said, it'll take a year and a half to two years to
put this out. I kept asking why, and nobody would give me an answer except, 'That's the
way it's done.' I told Bettye, 'That's a bunch of garbage.' We had the illustrator
illustrate it, and we had the whole package done and in the stores in three months. How'd
we do that? Well, we got off out butts and done it."
The charm and appeal of
Quacker and his books are their simplicity. Simply drawn, simply told adventures filled
with simple messages. Quacker embraces life and friends with an innocence and
enthusiasm that sometimes get hi into trouble but always teach a valuable lesson. To
complement Quacker's positive image, RVS Books, Inc., has also created a line of
merchandise for children and adults to enjoy as they learn more bout Quacker and his
friends. Click here for Quacker's merchandise listing.