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The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen

The Ugly Duckling (edition 2009)

by Hans Christian Andersen, Pirkko Vainio (Adapter)

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7202013,063 (3.58)16
Title:The Ugly Duckling
Authors:Hans Christian Andersen
Other authors:Pirkko Vainio (Adapter)
Info:NorthSouth (2009), Hardcover, 32 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Picture book, Fairy tale, Ducks, Swans, Caldecott honor, Children's book

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The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen



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I did not like this book because of its language and plot, but I did enjoy the main character’s determination. Before I read this tale, I thought back to the times when I listened to this story as a child. I remembered the main idea, which was the ugly duckling turned into a swan and finally found happiness and acceptance in the world. The current version however, was extremely long and drawn out, and included unnecessary details. For instance, in the beginning paragraph it said, “The stork walking about on his long red legs chattered in the Egyptian language which he had learnt from his mother.” I felt that this detail was not necessary because it had nothing to do with the story, and only confused me as a reader. Even though the language is written as though it is telling a story, I still did not find the plot to be well paced and organized. The ugly duckling traveled to different places, and met so many different characters that it was soon hard to keep up with the story line. I did enjoy the duckling’s character because he was determined and always believed in himself. For example, the ugly duckling chose to leave his family on the farm in order to find a place that would be more accepting of him. I feel that this takes a lot of bravery especially from a young duckling; he was not kicked out of his home, but instead chose to leave on his own.
I feel that the overall message of this tale is to always believe in yourself, no matter how others perceive you. Once the ugly duckling gained the courage to use his wings to fly, he began to transform into a beautiful swan. I really liked that the swan knew that he deserved to find happiness and that he worked hard for it, “He now felt glad at having suffered sorrow and trouble, because it enabled him to enjoy so much better all the pleasure and happiness around him.” Working hard will always pay off in the end. ( )
  ecahan1 | Mar 30, 2015 |
The Ugly Duckling is a great children’s book. It tells about self-confidence, and persistence. The main two reasons why I liked this book was because of the writing style and characters. The writing was very clear and flowed very well, the way this was written kept the reader focused on what was to come next. Also the author used some word to compare what is “beautiful” to what is “ugly.” The characters on the other hand were very realistic. Even though they were portrayed as ducks, people in their every day life go through this feeling of being “unwanted.” This story shows how everyone can feel that way and how to overcome it. The ugly duckling was left out of a lot of things, but at the end of the story the ugly duckling turned out to be a swan which he’s now considered “King of the Swans.” He swam around with confidence now that he felt he was beautiful. The message is to always love yourself, and someone will help you find your confidence. ( )
  sceres1 | Feb 10, 2015 |
This book is a wonderful translation of the classic Ugly Duckling tale. The story follows the life of a young "duck" from his birth to the moment of his self-realization. All the other animals throughout this book laugh and make fun of him because he looks ugly and different from everyone else. He goes through many hardships because of his ugliness, but it all pays off when he becomes a beautiful swan.

Personal Reflection: The moral of this story is very influential. Children may find it hard to understand at first, but they need to know that no matter what they may look or act like now does not allude to their future. I personally really enjoyed reading this book and looking at the realistic illustrations. They really brought this book to life.

Extensions: 1. Have children do "Spot the Difference" puzzles. See who finds the most. Explain that being different isn't a bad thing.
2. Invite a guest speaker who overcame adversity to speak to the children. Examples could be a local buisness owner, senator, principal, anyone who rose to the top from the very bottom. ( )
  mnewby17 | Jan 30, 2015 |
The main moral of this old tale has always been, not to judge a book by the cover. This story has been told over and over. One day a ugly duckling hatches, everyone makes fun of him because he is different. He relocates himself over and over trying to figure out where he is suppose to be. It isn't until the end when he grows up and sees his own reflection that he realizes that he has grown into a beautiful swan. Now everyone envies his looks and he does fit in after all. This book could be read to students for many reasons. It teaches children that what is on the inside is more important than how someone looks. Also, it could be ready when teaching folklore. ( )
  marabie | Nov 2, 2014 |
Do not judge a book by its cover, for one day that book may surprise you. This classic, and still endearing story was brought to life through Andersen. The characters were very believable, and easy to form a bond with. From the moment the duckling hatched and was described as terribly big, and ugly, I felt sympathetic. Through the strong language, and vivid imagery, I immediately felt a connection to the ugly duckling. While everyone around him teased him for his appearance, the audience could see that there was more to this duckling. The storyline followed the typical traditional literature pattern, which was easy to follow. The tale even ended with a lesson that “it doesn’t matter if you are born in a duck yard as long as you are hatched from a swan’s egg.” This valuable lesson was accomplished through a simple story, but this story proves time and time again to be effective. The book does push the reader to think about tough issues, and look at social problems deeper than before. ( )
  cyoung23 | Sep 14, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (114 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hans Christian Andersenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, AdrienneIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keigwin, R.P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McCue, LisaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Nutt, RobertIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Williams, JennieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In appreciation of the wonders of nature and the gift of time-honored stories -J.P.
First words
It was summer, and the pond was alive with the music and color of life.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please beware that this story has been adapted numerous times. Please leave this entry for the full, unabridged tale by Andersen!
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 068815932X, Hardcover)

Three-time Caldecott Honor artist and four-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, Jerry Pinkney doesn't disappoint with this lovely, old-fashioned, richly textured watercolor adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Ugly Duckling. The mother duck knew from the very beginning that one of her babies would be different from the rest... the sixth egg was large and oddly shaped. When it finally hatches that summer, she thinks the "monstrous big duckling" must be a turkey chick! Other ducks are appalled by the ugly duckling, and he is chased, pecked, and kicked aside. When he can't stand it anymore, he runs away from the pond, eventually taking refuge in the warm cottage of an old woman with a cat and a hen. Missing the delicious feeling of the water too much to stay, however, he heads out again into the wide, increasingly cold autumn world.
One day, he heard a sound of whirring wings, and up in the air he saw a flock of birds flying high. They were as bright as the snow that had fallen during the night, and their long necks were stretched southward. Oh, if only he could go with them! But what sort of companion could he be to those beautiful beings?"
At last, after a hard, cold winter--and plenty of the kind of adventures no one really wants to have--the duckling sees the same flock of birds he'd seen in the sky so many months ago. He decides he will follow them, somewhat dramatically preferring to be killed by them rather than suffer any more "cold and hunger and cruelty." Much to his surprise, they welcome him! And when he looks for his dull, awkward reflection in the water, he sees a beautiful swan instead. Children who feel ostracized, even for the tiniest of differences, may shed a few sympathetic tears for the ugly duckling. And no doubt, it was Andersen's wish to give them the hope of one day finding their own peaceful place. (Ages 3 to 9) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:03 -0400)

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An ugly duckling spends an unhappy year ostracized by the other animals before he grows into a beautiful swan.

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