The Ugly Duckling

What It Is

Hans Christian Anderson’s timeless tale from the mid-1800s is retold with modern illustrations by Sebastien Braun. We all know the story of how Mother Duck found an extra, different egg in her nest, and vowed to love and nurture it as if it was her own. When the egg hatched, the “duckling” looked and sounded very different than his siblings. As he grew up, he was ostracized by others for being so different, yet his mother always said, “No matter, I love you just the same.” He runs away and eventually meets some swans who look and sound just like him. He realizes that he does “belong” and blossoms into a beautiful swan.

Why It’s Fun

Mr. Braun took this quintessential tale and gave it new life through his brilliant illustrations. Mr. Anderson’s story is simple and gets several powerful life lessons across in a way that has been relevant to all ages for generations. Most of us have felt like the “ugly duckling” at some point in our lives. To hear “I love you just the same” is the best remedy and a phrase kids and adults can’t hear enough. However, I often wonder why Mother Duck never came and looked for her “ugly duckling.” Sounds like a good sequel!

Who’s Going To Love It

Mr. Braun’s book makes an ideal gift or purchase for any age. Both of my girls are older than the publisher’s recommended age range, but love the story and illustrations. It’s a feel-good tale that’s worth revisiting through the years, and if you are ever in NYC’s Central Park, be sure to look for the statue of Mr. Anderson and his “ugly duckling.”

Reading Time

About 3 minutes

Read-It-Again Points

10 out of 10

Book Information

The Ugly Duckling
By: Written and Illustrated by Sebastien Braun
Published by: Boxer Books (2010)
Approximate retail price: $16.95
Publisher’s recommended ages: 2 - 5


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