334. “The Ugly Duckling – El Patito Feo” Adaptation by Merce Escardo i Bas

You must know this simple tale about a little swan, mistakenly hatched in a duck nest and mistaken for a duckling. An ugly duckling. At first, the swan tried to live his life the duck way, but it was not easy to fit in. It was obvious that he was different. He didn’t belong there.  The swan left the only family he knew in pursuit of happiness and understanding. He didn’t find it among geese, he didn’t find it on a farm. He found it among the most magnificent creatures he had ever seen: Swans. He was one of them.   

What I want my son and other children to gather from this story is that there are no ugly ducklings, only misplaced swans. (And here we come to the question my son posed after reading the story: how did the swan egg get to the duck nest?) Children should never doubt their greatness and steer away from those who make them believe otherwise.

“The Ugly Duckling” makes me think about another book, “Matilda”, by R. Dahl. It is a story about a little genius born into a family of crooks and  ignorants.  Like the little swan, Matilda was very lonely, constantly humiliated, and misunderstood, UNTIL  she found Ms. Honey…

I have been looking for “The Ugly Duckling” for a while and I am really happy with this copy. It is published by Chronicle Books, as a part of Bilingual Books series. The story is retold in a very approachable way, suitable for toddlers and preschoolers, engagingly and humorously illustrated by Francesc Capdevilla, and it can be read in both, English and Spanish.

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