CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 41. . . .June 20, 2014
The Lovely Duckling is an imaginative retelling of the classic fairytale The Ugly Duckling. Part of Crabtree’s "Tadpoles: Fairytale Twists" series, the story centres on a family of four ducklings who are all born differently, except for Beauty, the story’s protagonist.
The central theme of The Lovely Duckling mirrors that of the traditional fairytale The Ugly Duckling: true beauty is only skin deep, and it is what is on the inside that counts. At its core, the story is all about tolerance and difference. By flipping the story on its head, Dolan has added a new twist to this classic tale, one that children of all ages will understand.
Moreover, David Boyle’s illustrations really bring the story to life. The vibrant colours paired with the artist’s bold strokes add texture to the story. Readers can actually see the joy in the ugly ducklings’ faces as they learn to fly, swim, and dive on their own. On the other hand, they can also see the pain on Beauty’s face as she is left out of all these adventures. Ultimately, it is the congruence between the text and illustrations that really makes the story shine.
Teresa Iaizzo is a Senior Library Assistant with the Toronto Public Library.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.