One glorious spring morning, a mother duck watches her ducklings hatch. Each one is small and pretty, exactly what a duckling should be - except for one very large and very ugly duckling. The other animals cast him out of the farmyard and the ugly duckling sets off on a lonely, hard journey to find somewhere he will fit in. When he's about to give ...
One glorious spring morning, a mother duck watches her ducklings hatch. Each one is small and pretty, exactly what a duckling should be - except for one very large and very ugly duckling. The other animals cast him out of the farmyard and the ugly duckling sets off on a lonely, hard journey to find somewhere he will fit in. When he's about to give up, he makes a surprising discovery and realizes that being different isn't such a bad thing after all!
Publishers Weekly, 2001-07-16 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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1999-02-22 Pinkney's (Rikki-Tikki-Tavi) supple, exquisitely detailed watercolors provide a handsome foil to his graceful adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen classic. This "duckling" is teased unmercifully by his apparent siblings but loved by the mother duck: "He may not be quite as handsome as the others," she says, "but... I am sure he will make his way in the world as well as anybody." Eventually he runs away, and as the seasons turn, the fledgling has a series of adventures, from a close encounter with a hunting dog to getting trapped in ice. All the while he is growing, transforming, and in the triumphant ending, he finds peace and happiness when his real identity is revealed to himself and to readers. Pinkney's artwork is a swan song to the beauty of the pastoral, and his lush images flow across the pages in sweeping vistas and meticulous close-ups. Whether depicting the subtle patterns and colors of a duck's feathers, the murky twilight of a freshwater pond or the contrast of red berries against dried grasses etched with snow, Pinkney's keenly observed watercolors honor nature in all its splendor. A flawlessly nuanced performance by a consummate craftsman. Ages 3-up. (Mar.)
Publishers Weekly, 2009-05-18 Isadora's latest interpretation of a fairy tale remains mostly loyal to the story line, but its sensual, mosaiclike collages create depth and texture, evoking the essence of an African savanna. The "large and clumsy" duckling, black and gray to the other ducklings' bright yellow, is ostracized by the other animals on the farm. But when a "kind farmer" takes him in, he lives with the farmer's family over the winter. In the spring, he emerges as a lovely swan with inky, blue plumage. A stirring adaptation. Ages 5-8. (May) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2005-02-07 Robert Ingpen aficionados will want to have a look at his elegant illustrations for Hans Christian Andersen's The Ugly Duckling, trans. by Anthea Bell, published in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the story's print debut. An opening spread of a sundrenched rural landscape gives way to close-ups of the misfit hero and his wayward adventures over land and water until he finds his proper place among the swans. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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