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Ugly Duckling
     

Ugly Duckling

4.7 19
by Hans Christian Andersen, Jerry Pinkney (Illustrator)
 

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A gorgeous, Caldecott Honor-winning version of the classic story

For over one hundred years The Ugly Duckling has been a childhood favorite, and Jerry Pinkney's spectacular adaptation brings it triumphantly to new generations of readers.

With keen emotion and fresh vision, the acclaimed artist captures the essence of the tale's timeless

Overview

A gorgeous, Caldecott Honor-winning version of the classic story

For over one hundred years The Ugly Duckling has been a childhood favorite, and Jerry Pinkney's spectacular adaptation brings it triumphantly to new generations of readers.

With keen emotion and fresh vision, the acclaimed artist captures the essence of the tale's timeless appeal: The journey of the awkward little bird—marching bravely through hecklers, hunters, and cruel seasons—is an unforgettable survival story; this blooming into a graceful swan is a reminder of the patience often necessary to discover true happiness. Splendid watercolors set in the lush countryside bring the drama to life in this hardcover picture book.

Editorial Reviews

An unusually beautiful version of an old favorite.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The simplified telling here may be more palatable to younger readers, but it flattens the story, making what was poetic stiff and what was funny too protracted. But San Souci's illustrations rescue the edition, in the colors of a faded, favorite patchwork quiltmuted, with many patterns and quaint touches that contribute to a period setting. Certainly, there was never a more downtrodden, woebegone duckling, who later, unaware of his own new beauty, cannot raise his head in front of the swans; he's afraid that his own ugliness will so offend them that they'll want to kill him. Ages 47. (May)
Publishers Weekly
Crossley-Holland (Storm) and So (The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury) bring out all the luster of Andersen's classic tale in this beguiling book. The familiar sequence of events unfolds in a courtly retelling shot through with flashes of humor ("That's a turkey's egg," says a duck elder authoritatively before the "duckling" hatches; "Waddle properly keep your legs well apart, like I do," the mother duck urges her strange child). Crossley-Holland's prose is as elegant as it is lyrical ("Sunlight settled on the shoulders of the ancient castle"; "A great skein of wild geese started up"; "Clouds sagged with snow and hail"). So's dexterous, impressionistic watercolors soar between blocks of text on the spreads for a highly dynamic presentation. The images are by turn droll, dreamlike and bittersweet, ranging from a dog splashing wildly through the marsh and the busy congress of a barnyard to the supple arch of a bird's neck against a winter sky. The equal of the striking prose, So's graceful brush strokes and expressive use of line issue an irresistible invitation to readers. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
This picture book edition of one of Hans Christian Anderson's most memorable tales is perfectly suited to the older reader. The impressionist-like color paintings on marbleized backgrounds are exquisite. The soft lime green and yellow change to deep brown and gold as the seasons change from spring to fall, and then change again to the icy grays and blues of winter. The strength of this new translation is in the illustrations, as the text is unremarkable. Whereas the updated and straightforward language may have appeal to the reader who eschews the fairy tale genre, the enchantment of language common to earlier translations is not to be found here. Purchase where supplemental materials are needed. 2005, Penguin Young Readers Group, Ages 5 to 8.
—Carole J. McCollough
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
True to the original version of the story, this interpretation has humor, drama and poignancy as the awkward young cygnet journeys toward his real identity. Andersen's most famous fable of an outcast is retold with well-contrasted woodcuts. The lyrical narration bursts with vivid description and challenging vocabulary.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Follow the adventures of a poor duckling scorned by all because he is different. When Spring comes he triumphs because he is now a swan. This classic story is richly enhanced byVan Nutt's wonderful illustrations that capture the beauty and colors of the ever changing seasons and the ugly ducklings journey through life's sorrows and joys.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-This adaptation of an Andersen favorite is faithful to the details and weight of the familiar story but has a bit less verbosity. The deft paintings, filling single pages and sometimes spread across two pages, are sunny and comic. As in other picture-book renditions, the extra-large hatchling-with his pale gray down, big feet, and winning smile-is not really ugly, just different from others in the barnyard. The various birds are colorfully feathered with graceful, elongated necks. Robert Ingpen's handsome version (Minedition, 2005) richly expresses the darker side of the tale but is wordier at the outset. Jerry Pinkney's rendition (Morrow, 1999) is livelier in both words and pictures. If you have room for one more, Angaramo's interpretation is competent and attractive.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Hans Christian Andersen
An unusually beautiful version of an old favorite.
Book
Kirkus Reviews
Outstanding illustrations and some new characters make Pinkney's retelling of a familiar tale memorable. This time around, there's an old woman who befriends the duck for its egg-laying potential, a hunting dog that happens upon the duck, a man who pulls the duck out of a frozen river and provides warmth and shelter, and children who comment on the once-ugly duckling's arrival at a pond, saying it is the finest of the flock. As in the original, suffering and loneliness are appeased, and the enduring lessons are reaffirmed: suffering may be necessary for growth and happiness, and loneliness may be overcome. A spirited, artistic adaptation, and a welcome addition to the shelves. (Picture book/folklore. 3-9) .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688159320
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/24/1999
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
102,021
Product dimensions:
9.25(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.37(d)
Lexile:
AD650L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author and poet best remembered for his fairy tales, both original and retold, including the beloved classics "Thumbelina," "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Fir Tree," "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," "The Princess and the Pea," "The Red Shoes," "The Ugly Duckling," and "The Snow Queen." 

Jerry Pinkney is the illustrator of more than a hundred books for children. A five-time winner of both the Caldecott Honor and the Coretta Scott King Award, he has been recognized with numerous other honors, taught illustration and conducted workshops at universities across the country, and created art for the United States Postal Service's Black Heritage stamps. Books Mr. Pinkney has illustrated include The Ugly Duckling, John Henry, The Nightingale, and Noah's Ark. The father of four grown children, he lives and works in Croton-on-Hudson, New York, in a nineteenth-century carriage house with his wife, author Gloria Jean.

In His Own Words...

"I grew up in a small house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I was a middle child of six. I started drawing as far back as I can remember, at the age of four or five. My brothers drew, and I guess in a way I was mimicking them. I found I enjoyed the act of putting marks on paper. It gave me a way of creating my own space and quiet time, as well as a way of expressing myself. You can imagine six children competing for attention and to be heard. I would sit, watching and drawing.

"In first grade I had the opportunity to draw a large picture of a fire engine on the blackboard. I was complimented and encouraged to draw more. The attention felt good, and I wanted more. I was not a terrific reader or adept speller in my growing-up years, and I felt insecure in those areas. Drawing helped me build my self-esteem and feel good about myself, and, with hard work, I graduated from elementary school with honors.

"I attended an all-black elementary school, and I gained a strong sense of self and an appreciation of my own culture there. But Roosevelt Junior High was integrated. There I had many friends, both white and black, at a time when there was little mixing socially in school. There the spark for my curiosity about people was lit. You can see this interest and fascination with people of different cultures throughout my work.

"My formal art training started at Dobbins Vocational High School, and upon graduation I received a scholarship to the Philadelphia Museum College of Art. My major was advertising and design. The most exciting classes for me were drawing, painting, and printmaking. It is no wonder I turned to illustrating and designing books. For me the book represents the ultimate in graphics: first, as a designer, considering space, page size, number of pages, and type size; then, as an illustrator, dealing with the aesthetics of line, color, and form.

"There were three books that somehow magically came into my possession in the early sixties: The Wind in the Wows, illustrated by Arthur Rackham; The Wonder Clock, illustrated by Howard Pyle; and Rain Makes Applesauce, illustrated by Marvin Bileck. You can see those influences in my art today. Later, my work was greatly influenced by such African American artists as Charles White, Romare Bearden, and Jacob Lawrence.

"From the very beginning of my career in illustrating books, research has been important. I do as much as possible on a given subject, so that I live the experience and have a vision of the people and places. To capture a sense of realism for characters in my work, I use models that resemble the people I want to portray. My wife, Gloria Jean (also an author), and I keep a closetful of old clothes to dress up the models, and I have the models act out the story. Photos are taken to aid me in better understanding body language and facial expressions. Once I have that photo in front of me I have freedom, because the more you know, the more you can be inventive.

"For illustrating stories about animals, I keep a large reference file of over a hundred books on nature and animals. The first step in envisioning a creature is for me to pretend to be that particular animal. I think about its size and the sounds it makes, how it moves (slowly or quickly), and where it lives. I try to capture the feeling of the creature, as well as its true-to-life characteristics. There are times when the stories call for the animals to be anthropomorphic, and I've used photographs of myself posing as the animal characters.

"It still amazes me how much the projects I have illustrated have given back to me in terms of personal and artistic satisfaction. They have given me the opportunity to use my imagination, to draw, to paint, to travel through the voices of the characters in the stories, and, above all else, to touch children."

Jerry Pinkney is the illustrator of more than a hundred books for children. A five-time winner of both the Caldecott Honor and the Coretta Scott King Award, he has been recognized with numerous other honors, taught illustration and conducted workshops at universities across the country, and created art for the United States Postal Service's Black Heritage stamps. Books Mr. Pinkney has illustrated include The Ugly Duckling, John Henry, The Nightingale, and Noah's Ark. The father of four grown children, he lives and works in Croton-on-Hudson, New York, in a nineteenth-century carriage house with his wife, author Gloria Jean.

In His Own Words...

"I grew up in a small house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I was a middle child of six. I started drawing as far back as I can remember, at the age of four or five. My brothers drew, and I guess in a way I was mimicking them. I found I enjoyed the act of putting marks on paper. It gave me a way of creating my own space and quiet time, as well as a way of expressing myself. You can imagine six children competing for attention and to be heard. I would sit, watching and drawing.

"In first grade I had the opportunity to draw a large picture of a fire engine on the blackboard. I was complimented and encouraged to draw more. The attention felt good, and I wanted more. I was not a terrific reader or adept speller in my growing-up years, and I felt insecure in those areas. Drawing helped me build my self-esteem and feel good about myself, and, with hard work, I graduated from elementary school with honors.

"I attended an all-black elementary school, and I gained a strong sense of self and an appreciation of my own culture there. But Roosevelt Junior High was integrated. There I had many friends, both white and black, at a time when there was little mixing socially in school. There the spark for my curiosity about people was lit. You can see this interest and fascination with people of different cultures throughout my work.

"My formal art training started at Dobbins Vocational High School, and upon graduation I received a scholarship to the Philadelphia Museum College of Art. My major was advertising and design. The most exciting classes for me were drawing, painting, and printmaking. It is no wonder I turned to illustrating and designing books. For me the book represents the ultimate in graphics: first, as a designer, considering space, page size, number of pages, and type size; then, as an illustrator, dealing with the aesthetics of line, color, and form.

"There were three books that somehow magically came into my possession in the early sixties: The Wind in the Wows, illustrated by Arthur Rackham; The Wonder Clock, illustrated by Howard Pyle; and Rain Makes Applesauce, illustrated by Marvin Bileck. You can see those influences in my art today. Later, my work was greatly influenced by such African American artists as Charles White, Romare Bearden, and Jacob Lawrence.

"From the very beginning of my career in illustrating books, research has been important. I do as much as possible on a given subject, so that I live the experience and have a vision of the people and places. To capture a sense of realism for characters in my work, I use models that resemble the people I want to portray. My wife, Gloria Jean (also an author), and I keep a closetful of old clothes to dress up the models, and I have the models act out the story. Photos are taken to aid me in better understanding body language and facial expressions. Once I have that photo in front of me I have freedom, because the more you know, the more you can be inventive.

"For illustrating stories about animals, I keep a large reference file of over a hundred books on nature and animals. The first step in envisioning a creature is for me to pretend to be that particular animal. I think about its size and the sounds it makes, how it moves (slowly or quickly), and where it lives. I try to capture the feeling of the creature, as well as its true-to-life characteristics. There are times when the stories call for the animals to be anthropomorphic, and I've used photographs of myself posing as the animal characters.

"It still amazes me how much the projects I have illustrated have given back to me in terms of personal and artistic satisfaction. They have given me the opportunity to use my imagination, to draw, to paint, to travel through the voices of the characters in the stories, and, above all else, to touch children."

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
April 2, 1805
Date of Death:
August 4, 1875
Place of Birth:
Odense, Denmark
Place of Death:
Copenhagen, Denmark

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The Ugly Duckling 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another excellent version of the Ugly Duckling. The illustrations are wonderful and so lovely for little children to see the beauty of art in such a great story. People of all ages can relate to the story of the misfit in the group and you find yourself riding along with the main character as he tries to fit in and then tries to find who he is really is. This classic story is always a great story for kids and with the lovely illustrations it makes it fun to read again and again. I would recommend this book to all people who love to read with children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
its a story about a duck who actually isnt a duck its actually a swan who cant love that
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the great lessons of all children's stories. Remember it fondly and hold it close to your heart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a great story with good meaning behind it. 'Let me see the egg that won't hatch'. The ugly duckling was a late comer and not the prettiest thing either. He struggled all his life until one day when he realized that he could be a great duck. In the end he says, 'I never dreamed of so much happiness when I was the ugly duckling'. Anderson, Hans Christian. The Ugly Duckling. Penguin Young Readers Group, 2005.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I¿m partial to any Hans Christian Anderson book. This is because when I was young I saw the movie of his life as portrayed by Danny Kaye and I fell in love with his story! Though I¿m not sure how factual the movie was, I¿m still intrigued by his literature. The Ugly Duckling is a timeless story of a young hatchling¿s journey from birth to adulthood. His life begins as an ugly, awkward duck that is taunted and teased by all those who see him even his own family turns against him and they peck and chase him out of their barnyard. The little duckling finds himself in strange surroundings, but tries to do his best with what he¿s got and to find his place in life. One day, he hears a flock of birds flying high and admires them from afar. ¿Oh, if only he could go with them! But what sort of a companion could he be to those beautiful beings?¿ After a terribly cold winter, you¿ll be delighted to see the discoveries that unfold for this strong-willed little duckling.
Guest More than 1 year ago
From the moment he hatched out of his egg, the little duckling knew he was different. Even his mother and his brothers and sisters thought he was strange. The other animals taunted him and bit him to the point where he just could not stand it anymore, so he left his mother to try to make it on his own. Out in the wild, the duckling faced even more challenges such as hunters and dogs. He began to think to himself, ¿I am too ugly even for a dog to eat.¿ The summer ended and winter was just around the corner, but still the duckling wondered, would he ever fit in anywhere? The Ugly Duckling is an extraordinary book for both children and adults of all ages. I remember reading this book as a young child and crying because it was so sad with a bright ending, and when I read it again now as an adult, I reacted to the book in the very same way. A lot of people can relate to this book if at sometime in their lives, they felt out of place (basically everyone will feel that way at sometime or another in their life) just as the duckling in the book did. This book teaches children that while not everybody is exactly the same, everyone is special in their own way. What¿s on the outside is not what matters it¿s what¿s on the inside that counts. Jerry Pinkney lives in Croton-on-Hudson, New York with his wife, author Gloria Jean Pinkney. Jerry turned to art at an early age because his dyslexia made it very difficult to read. He graduated from Dobbins Vocational School with a concentration in commercial art and he received a full scholarship to attend the Philadelphia Museum College of Art (PCA). Jerry has been illustrating children¿s books since 1964, and to date, he has illustrated more than 75 books. Many of his books have won various awards including the Caldecott Honor Award. Pinkney, Jerry. The Ugly Duckling. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1999. RL: Ages 5-8, Grades K-3
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Ugly Duckling is a true Classic. A tale of how no matter what circumstances you were born in- how unlike the others you are, you can find true beauty when you find your place in the crowd. You will then find indeed true character and goodness within. This book is highly recommended.
MikeLaville More than 1 year ago
My favorite! Great pictures as well!
Gardenseed More than 1 year ago
This is a retelling for picture book age children. The illustrations are superb and very appealing. I deducted one star because it does not have the original text, however this much shorter version will appeal to the age most likely to want to read the story. This would be a beautiful addition to any family's picture book collection. Recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this story so much! It brings back such sweet memories.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Caldecott: Throughout the book, The Ugly Duckling, I felt sorry for the duck. It was a sad situation because no one wanted to have anything to do with the duck. The mother duck would not even tell the others she thought he was a good looking duck. It was awful that no one really took up for him. Hans Christian Andersen was born in the slums of Odense. His father, Hans Andersen, was a poor shoemaker and literate, who believed he was of aristocratic origin. Andersen's mother, Anne Marie Andersdatter, worked as washerwoman. Although she was uneducated and superstitious, she opened for his son the world of folklore. Andersen received little education. As a child he was highly emotional, suffering all kinds of fears and humiliations because of his tallness and effeminate interests. Encouraged by his parents he composed his own fairy tales and arrange puppet theatre shows. His father loved literatuire and took Andersen often to the playhouse. The Ugly Duckling, is about a duck that when he was born he was different from his siblings and mom. Everyone thought he was so ugly and picked on him. So, he left home one night. He came across a lady and her cat and hen. He stayed with them awhile, but the cat and hen thought the duckling was useless. So, once again the duck left in search for a new place. The duck goes through a few more situations, but then finds others that he fits in with. ¿He may not be quite as handsome as the others,¿ his mother answered. The duckling¿s mother agrees with another duck that her son is not that good looking like the other ducks. Andersen, Hans Christian. The Ugly Duckling. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1999. Grade Level: 4th
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent take on the classic children's story, and the pictures are amazing. Jerry Pinkney won a Caldecott Honor for his rendition of the Ugly Duckling. I love how the pictures span the whole page, but frame the text on one page to make it easier to read. The tale is truly a heartwarming story, and I would highly recommend this book for children, parents, and teachers alike.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very nicely done!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well stared by a sample. I like it already.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love my 3 page sample.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fhccbcfhfvg cute! Nguhygdfdgyrfggv¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿nhhtdghrjjjjjjyyyyyyyyyttttfcccvggggbhhbvg
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The original (non-Disney) version of the tale.