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The Ugly Duckling
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
'I am too ugly even for a dog to eat,' the duckling thought. Jerry Pinkney's poignant text and rich artwork convey the timeless appeal of this tale of hardship and redemption. Anyone who has suffered the sting of ostracism can sympathize with the ugly duckling's plight and will relish the uplifting conclusion.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the difficulties of being "different" and the pain of being rejected by one's peers. Have you ever been ostracized by others for the way you look? How did it make you feel? Have you ever treated someone else differently because they didn't look or act like you and your friends?