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Children's LiteratureIn this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, a mother duck hatches four small eggs and a large one. The large egg produces a large creature that doesn't really look like a duck. He proves that he can swim and mama duck takes it all in stride. The rest of the flock and the big gray duckling's siblings don't have the same feeling about him. They make fun of him and make his life miserable. He left his family and headed out on his own. In the autumn, he spies a flock of swans and marvels at their beauty and grace. He manages to survive the winter and when spring comes, he joins a trio of those birds he so admired. Imagine his surprise when he learns that he was one of them. Now life was indeed happy for him. The retelling is designed for new readers who are reading independently. They may have heard the story before and will enjoy the challenge of reading this version on their own. The watercolor illustrations are faithful to the text and will give readers clues to help them get through the text. Part of the "Read-it! Readers" series which come in four color-coded levels. Green, which is the level for this one, is the most complex. There is an opening note to parents and caregivers that explains the series structure and some tips for using the book. 2004, Picture Window Books, Ages 5 to 7.
— Marilyn Courtot