The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen

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Synopsis

One of Andersen’s best-loved tales in a glorious retelling with lush, atmospheric paintings and an engaging narration

Once upon a time, there was a maligned misfit who grew into the most glorious creature of them all. Never has such a fairy tale transformation touched more hearts than the one in "The Ugly Duckling," one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most familiar and cherished stories. Now, in the hands of esteemed translator Stephen Mitchell, an iconographic fable regains all the humor and pathos of its very first telling. And with their vivid, arresting collage illustrations, Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher bring an oft-told tale to soaring new life.
 

About Hans Christian Andersen

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Stephen Mitchell is a renowned writer and translator whose award-winning books for young readers include THE WISHING BONE, THE NIGHTINGALE, and THE TINDERBOX. Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher are an award-winning illustration team who have worked together for more than twenty years, illustrating books by authors as diverse as John Scieszka, Garrison Keillor, Margaret Wise Brown, and Dr. Suess. Their unusual collaborative method allows both artists to conceive, draw, design, and paint. For THE UGLY DUCKLING, they’ve chosen a stunning collage style. They live in Minneapolis.
 
Published December 26, 2007 by Candlewick. 40 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Ugly Duckling

Kirkus Reviews

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Though Cauley trims an occasional aside for younger listeners, she doesn't stray far from standard translations of this Andersen favorite.

Sep 01 1979 | Read Full Review of The Ugly Duckling

Kirkus Reviews

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Every page is spectacular—even the narrative pages have spot illustrations (large in this format) and background textures in green (which the text tells us is “good for the eyes”).

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Kirkus Reviews

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The newly created art is bright and naturalistic, with sweet touches like bonnets for the mother ducks and—despite a reference to his “long naked neck”—a uniform covering of silky down on the gracefully posed new hatchling.

Aug 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The Ugly Duckling

Publishers Weekly

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In this faithful retelling, Mitchell embraces Andersen's classic but abridges the melancholy Dane's crueler jabs. As in the original, this opens on a bucolic moat where a patient duck war

Jan 21 2008 | Read Full Review of The Ugly Duckling

Publishers Weekly

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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.

May 18 2009 | Read Full Review of The Ugly Duckling

Publishers Weekly

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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.

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Examiner

When it comes to teaching little ones about inner beauty, bullying, and the thrill of self-discovery, it’s hard to beat Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling.” It’s also hard to top this lovely production by the Hilberry Theatre, an adaptation of the classic story by Ric Averill, as its a...

Jun 20 2012 | Read Full Review of The Ugly Duckling

Common Sense Media

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.

Jan 01 1999 | Read Full Review of The Ugly Duckling

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