This is a nice hardcover classic story by Hans Christian Anderson.
Hans Christian Andersen's heart-warming tale of the Ugly Duckling, who grows up to be a beautiful swan, is brought to life by Jan Lewis' enchanting and amusing illustrations. With rhyming text that's fun to read aloud, and lots to look at on every page, this really big board book is sure to delight young children.
From the Publisher
Large, full-color, richly detailed illustrations characterize this retelling of the famous Hans Christian Andersen tale.
The classic tale where the little duckling learns that appearances are not everything.
From The Critics
An unusually beautiful version of an old favorite.
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.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
The translation of Andersen's Danish text (copyright page states simply that this is adapted from W. Angeldorff's translation) may be dense and formal, but Italian artist Angaramo's full-bleed spreads are anything but. Novel visual angles, human expressions on the faces of the animals, and plenty of bright greenery and golden sun convey a feeling of optimism at odds with the sober tale. Angaramo's duckling is a tiny grayish fellow with huge feet and cheerful pinprick eyes. The text describes the trials he undergoes because of his odd appearance: "the poor ugly duckling was bitten, pushed, and sneered at both by the ducks and the hens." But though Angaramo's ugly duckling stands alone in the big barnyard (viewed from bird's-eye level, the barn and haystacks appear as high as mountains), the animals who encircle him talking excitedly, with shining eyes; they might be complimenting his nice gray plumage. Even in the worst of the cold ("Just thinking about winter was enough to make one feel frozen, and the poor duckling certainly had a very bad time of it"), Angaramo's duckling lifts his wings happily, a smile on his face. As an introduction to Andersen's traditional tales, this is as benign an entry as parents could hope to find. Ages 4-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.