A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Other farmyard creatures (and the humans) are cruel to the duckling.
Violence & Scariness
Hunters shoot at a flock of geese, and a hunting dog confronts the duckling. The duckling vows that he would rather be killed by the swans than suffer any more cruelty.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that kids will be drawn into the detailed illustrations, and empathize with the forlorn fowl. Positive messages about acceptance abound, and there's nothing here that kids can't handle.
Is It Any Good?
The author pays homage to Hans Christian Andersen's compassionate tale with this faithful adaptation, an ageless story that speaks across generations with its reaffirming message. In this age of instant gratification, Andersen's tale reminds readers that some things are worth waiting for and that a pleasure deferred (whether by choice or by necessity) is often the sweetest one of all.
Illustrator Jerry Pinkney's descriptive passages resonate with the splendor of nature's beauty. The glowing watercolors, filled with intricate details, make each blade of grass visible, and the delicately drawn, nearly transparent mosquitoes are as ethereal as they are in life. The subtle details incorporated into the scenes -- a frog catching a passing fly at the pond and a tiny mouse perched by a crate in the old woman's cottage -- will encourage children to take another look at this old and familiar story.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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