The Ugly Duckling: The Graphic Novel
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The Ugly Duckling: The Graphic Novel

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"In a faraway land, perched upon her little nest, Mother Duck waits for her last remaining egg to hatch. When the odd little egg finally breaks open, Mother Duck is shocked to see an ugly duckling staring up at her. Despite its homeliness, Mother Duck adores her awkward child and does her best to protect him. Unfortunately, no one else on the farm wants anything to do with the Ugly Duckling, and he is driven from the farm to fend for himself. Survival, however, takes more than good looks, and the plucky little duck plods bravely into the wilderness."

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  • Paperback | 40 pages
  • 172.72 x 246.38 x 5.08mm | 113.4g
  • 01 Sep 2009
  • Capstone Press
  • Stone Arch Books
  • Mankato
  • English
  • Reprint
  • full colour graphic novel format illustrations
  • 1434217426
  • 9781434217424
  • 197,754

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Review text

A gentler, milder version of Andersen's classic tale of the misunderstood cygnet, inexplicably despised for his comparatively large size and definite lack of yellow but not for any real ugliness. Vainio reveals through delicate watercolors the whitish-gray fluff of a charming, tender baby desperately alone in a soft, beautiful world. Though the illustrations are lovely, they lack power. In every situation where the innocent swan is abused and finds no respite from hatred, the art handles this horror too gently. His reactions to rejection and verbal abuse are revealed in the illustrations, with a slight incline of his head showing his dejection. He is also unnaturally slow in growing, remaining a fuzzy baby over the course of months and then suddenly growing to adulthood in a page turn - a problem inherent in most illustrated versions of the tale. The unnamed translator has edited out the most violent verbal and physical abuse found in the original, making a place for it in collections for younger picture-book readers yet losing the story's raw spark. (Picture book/fairy tale. 4-6) (Kirkus Reviews)

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