The Ugly Ducklingby Audio Paperback, Peter L. Bartlett (Read by), Barbara Bliss (Read by)
Each season brings a new obstacle for the unloved duckling -- from summer on a farm where the other animals tease him to a cold, lonely winter on a frozen pond -- but the duckling continues on his search for acceptance. At last spring arrives, and with it comes the duckling’s glorious discovery that he has grown into the most noble of creatures, a swan.
This child-friendly edition introduces the next generation of readers to the magic of Hans Christian Andersen.
The classic story of an awkward, unattractive duckling who hatches into a family of downy little ducks is told in a lightly humorous way. The mother duck, tired of sitting on the nest, is happy when the eggs hatch, but one large egg takes longer that the others. When it does hatch, the mother duck must admit he does not look like her other ducklings. She decides she will raise him and teach him to go into the water no matter what it takes. The ugly duckling is laughed at and picked on by all the other creatures. One day he sees a flock of magnificent white birds fly by and he is strangely moved. He aches to join them. After a bitter winter he sees the birds again and approaches them. He wants to be with them even if they think he is ugly. Of course, they welcome him, for he has blossomed into a beautiful white swan. The ultimate lesson is rather sad, as it indicates that beauty is necessary for happiness. The collage paintings accompanying the text are unusual and add another dimension to the story. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford
Andersen's timeless story is lovingly revisited in this modest yet engaging retelling. With the sound and feel of a classic in the very best sense, the familiar tale has been reworked but not oversimplified, making it particularly appealing for children who might be too young for some of the harsher elements of the original. But what makes this version particularly appealing is the lovely watercolor artwork, which, like the text, exudes a feeling of tradition and familiarity. Uncluttered backgrounds are softly blurred in watery shades of blue and green, while the details are more focused and sharply drawn. The duckling's sadness and longing to belong come through in his posture and expressions, providing a clear focal point for readers' empathy. When considering a classic, it is easy to decide that a collection doesn't need yet another version, but with a beautifully simple offering such as this, one might want to think again.-Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library
- Durkin Hayes Publishing Ltd.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Age Range:
- 4 - 8 Years
Meet the Author
Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75) wrote many semi-autobiographical tales, including “The Ugly Duckling.”
Kevin Crossley-Holland is widely acclaimed for his retellings of myths and legends.
Meilo So’s watercolor paintings in four previous Knopf books have received unanimous praise.
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