The Ugly Duckling
Hans Christian Andersen
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Ugly Duckling

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  3,233 ratings  ·  115 reviews
An ugly duckling spends an unhappy year ostracized by other animals before he grows into a beautiful swan.
Hardcover, 28 pages
Published May 1st 1986 by Barron's Educational Series (first published January 1st 1843)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Ugly Duckling, please sign up.

Recent Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
K.D. Absolutely
The Ugly Duckling is one of the most famous fairy tales of Danish Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875). I am still to read the whole collection but I got a copy of this book as I try to buy a few children's books every payday for our outreach program for child literacy on May 25, 2013 to be held at the Museo Pambata. We will spend half a day to read three stories to children aged 4-8 from the financially-challenged families of Manila, we will also feed them and give them loot bags that contain sc...more
Paakhi Srivastava
The Ugly Duckling is a classic story apt to impart lessons on morality to children. I got this book at the daily kindle deals for free. I picked this up to read for pleasure and diversion. This tiny forty pages book stimulated some ideas that are expected only from fables, stories and fairy tales.

This is a story about a baby duck that is born out of a huge egg and looks 'ugly'. In few words, the author presents the reaction of its mother who conditioned to appreciate beauty than character is ash...more
What a heartbreaking story! Who knew that the original characters were so cruel! The Ugly Duckling was physically and mentally abused by his mother, siblings, and all of the other animals on the farm. He ran away, and was mistreated and talked about not because of anything that he could prevent, but just because he was ugly. Talk about self esteem issues! He was afraid to make friends at one point so he became a loner, and didn't bother to fly south with any flock for the winter. He suffered alo...more
Sarasvvati Ajeng
Dulu saya pernah baca The Ugly Duckling ini versi Bahasa Indonesianya dan saya dulu suka banget. Apalagi dulu kan saya jelek (ya, sekarang juga nggak cantik sih tapi dulu saya jauh lebih jelek dari sekarang hahaha). Sebagai anak kecil, saya bacanya seneng banget karena kisah dan messagenya bagus. Bikin saya yang dulu gendut dan jelek jadi PD dan yakin kalau suatu saat nanti saya bakalan bisa cantik dan kece, haha. Time flies, dan beberapa hari yang lalu saya iseng liat epub yang ada di iTunes da...more
Alexis Kloehn
"The Ugly Duckling" was a story about a little duck that had a rough life. He was picked on by all of the other animals for being different. Everyone in his life thought he was ugly. This made him run away from home many times. The duckling went through many homes until he found one that accepted him. He was finally accepted because he finally matured.

There is only one character throughout the story, the ugly duckling. He was picked on all his life because he was different. The ugly duckling di...more
John Yelverton
What a fantastic story about not judging others for their outward appearance.
Taylor Ray
This book was about a duckling that was born out of a bigger egg and was different looking from the rest of the bunch that were hatched. He was referred to as the "ugly duckling" like the title of the story. He struggles in his life dealing with the fact that he is "ugly" and ends up traveling and experiencing things different from the rest of them, because he was so different. At the end, he never really got over all the teasing until one day, he looked at his reflection in the water of the pon...more
Deena Lernor
This is a story of a young duckling that had trouble finding his way. The Ugly Duckling was the largest egg and took the longest to hatch. When he hatched he was a grey color with fluffiness all over. Everyone called him ugly everywhere he went, and always stared at him. When he left his family he went on a journey to find his new home, he came across other animals that judged him. He went to many marshes and each time he went he was made fun of for his ugly color. A winter night came a long and...more
Samantha Mcdowell
The classic story of the ugly duckling is really brought to life in this book with vivid, large illustrations that I found fantastic. The story is great for kids because the poor ugly duckling gets bullied by all the other animals while he is little because of how he looks until finally at the end of the story he turns in to a beautiful swan. The illustrations were my favorite part of this book because they were large and drawn very realistically.
There are quite a few words to a page so I think...more
Teri-mae Delay
"I never dreamed of such happiness as this, while I was an ugly duckling." Everyone knows Hans Anderson's "Ugly Duckling" story. A baby duck hatches late and turns out to be the ugliest in his brood. After being pecked at, stomped on, and made fun of, he runs away. He keeps running from place to place until he finally finds where he belongs. He finds out that he is a beautiful swan that is finally accepted.
"The Ugly Duckling" can be easily related to by everyone who went through puberty. We are...more
Kristi Maurer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauren Marotta
This story is about a young duckling who gets made fun of and bullied for being so called "ugly" This book teaches a very valuable lesson. As their are not much illustration and a lot of words young readers may really be able to related to something like this if bullying is going on in the classroom.

The ending is wonderful, and it is wrapped up in such a happy way.

With the book being very wordy you may lose some readers interest as their are not too many pictures to follow along. I really truly...more
Barbara Mojica
The classic tale is told comprehensively in about forty pages. There is quite a bit of text on a page which makes it a difficult sell for young children, and the illustrations are rather small and generic in nature. At the end of the tale, the ugly duckling does not wish to survive. He is tired of being pecked by the other ducks, beaten by hens, pushed around by humans, and starving from hunger and cold during the winter. Then he is astonished at what he sees when he gazes at his appearance in t...more
Kate Ballan
The Ugly Duckling gives off the most important message of any children's book: no matter what other people think, you are beautiful. This is a message any child needs to hear. In the book, one duckling looks different than all the rest, so it is made fun of. The duckling starts to believe that their is something wrong with it, and that it is ugly. While growing up the duckling becomes even more different from the others. As it transforms, it starts to get more and more down on itself. It is not...more
Kyla Frey
The ugly duckling is a classic story about a baby duck thinking he is ugly his whole life. Everyone makes fun of him because he looks different. At the end he looks into the lake and sees that he has turned into a beautiful swan.
This book teaches the lesson of not judging a book by its cover. You can't judge the character of a person just by the way they look. It would be a good lesson to teach kids to get to know people before they immediately dismiss them. Also, you could teach a lesson on bul...more
Michelle Neuwirth Gray
A really wordy version and I didn't really like the illustrations. The text just didn't hold my interest.
This is a cute story. Plus something fun and light to read.
Tami Roberts
Grades 1-4 (Read aloud).

The title page states that this version was translated by R.P. Keigwin and used by permission of Flensted Publishers. Adrienne Adams, although may have been appealing when this book was published in 1965 are muted and rather dull, but the realism she portrays is surprisingly pleasant. Anderson’s story of the ugly duckling is long and detailed of the duckling’s journey compared to some of the shorter retellings of this tale. The story of the young duckling’s lonely journe...more
The Ugly Duckling
3 out of 5 stars

Hans Christian Andersen does not have any information in the book about where he got the idea for the story. The text was framed in a thick, black border. Illustrations were colorful and could be found in full-page form in mixed in on the page with the text. The illustrations seemed to be done with paints, and they appear to be a series of dots put together to form the illustrations. Each illustration has some sort of border around it. The text was not a large...more
I like this story, I think it says many important things in a way that little kids and adults can understand. I am a big fan of stories with morals, I think its a great way to teach kids.

I always feel so bad for the horrible way the duckling was treated, it just seems to be such a sad way to start off life. I know that in the end its all worth it and the hard times made the duckling a better swan, but it still seems so harsh. Then again, life is harsh sometimes. A lot of lessons packed into thi...more
Blair Herron
Traditional picture book:

When I went to the library to pick out the books I wanted to read for this weeks assignment, there were a few renditions of this classic child's tale. This one stood out to me from the others though, because the illustrations were so serene, just like a pond, where the duckling lived. I feel that this characteristic made the pictures even more relate-able to the story line, and helped it to connect to the other senses. This fact gives the retelling an edge which would m...more
Out of all the "Ugly Duckling" books I have read, this one has the prettiest illustrations and the pages are very thick, nice quality.

The story:
Having read this book many times, I have mixed feelings.
Part of me LOVES this story. When the ugly duckling triumphs at the end and becomes the beautiful swan, it is a powerful message of hope and overcoming adversity. After all the abuse and shunning from his family and community, he finally finds his place. This book also helps children feel compass...more
This is a retelling of the classic tale of the ugly duckling that survives the cruelness of the world in the beginning of his life to later become a beautiful swan, where he finds the true meaning of acceptance and belonging. Mitchell’s version remains true to the original translation with only minor changes in wording. Upon seeing the beautiful swans in Mitchell’s version the duckling states “It doesn’t matter if they bite me or drive me away” as opposed to the original which states “better to...more
Luis S.
This is the story of a swan born into a family of ducks, who is cast out of the pond because the other animals believe such an ugly duckling doesn't belong with them. Wherever he goes, the ugly duckling encounters animals that shun him for the same reason. Upon encountering a group of elegant white birds, the ugly duckling aspires to one day be as beautiful as them. After a dreadfully cold and lonely winter, the ugly duckling sees his reflection in the water and realizes that he wasn't a duck af...more
Shannon McGee
The Ugly Duckling use to be my favorite of the fairy tales. A strange looking “duckling” hatches out of a egg next to actual duckling chicks. All the chicks and the mother can tell the strange “duckling” is not their kind so the ugly duckling goes off to find a place to fit in.

I do not know if this particular book was actually written by the Hans Christian Andersen because some book sites say it was written by the publisher, Ripple Digital Publishing. It has decent art although I wished there w...more
Heather Isabella
Apr 25, 2007 Heather Isabella rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has a conscience
Although this may seem to some as just another fairytale for children, this is one of my favourite tales to read, one which nearly brought me to tears while travelling home after a night out in london at 5 in the morning.
Perhaps, yes, it was due to the lack of sleep and (for once) moderate drinking, but the underlying message in the tale is still relevant today as it is ever.
The story of not fitting in, being ridiculed, those deeming themselves better than others, abuse, vulnerability, a lack of...more
Aleksa Mervil
This is an interesting book for children. It deals with the motto, "Don't judge a book by its cover" and the diversity people deal with based on their looks. It's a great lesson for children to learn, not to treat people differently because of their outside beauty. This story was one of my favorites as a child, it's good for helping children to identify and embrace their individuality whereas they would be ashamed of it.
Sun Daze
Perfect for kids!

Perfect for kids!

Well ya see I love books and this one....was perfect!! I definitely suggest reading this book when your on a road trip home or to anywhere. I thought it would be boring but it's actually great! I was surprised. :D
Reason why 5 star: I love reading chapter books that are readable in 2 days and I read this one in two days!!
Megan Boomgarden
"The Ugly Duckling" is an old, very well known fairy tale about a young duckling who gets picked on and made fun of because of his "ugly" gray feathers. The poor lonely duck cannot make any friends because they are all focused on teh way he looks, but in the end, the ugly duckling becomes a beautiful swan.

This classic story by Hans Christian Anderson is one of my favorite becuase it teaches a much needed lesson about appearance. In our society today, many people are focued on having the perfect...more
Michelle Marcano
A classic tail about a mama duck and her little ducks. one of her ducks looks different from the rest so everyone is always teasing and calling him "ugly duckling". Tired of being teased the little duckling runs away from his family. When he runs away he tries to find his place in the world but everywhere he goes he isn't loved. after the long winter passes the Ugly duckling is now big, he hoops in the water and looks at his reflection. Come to find out the duckling was never a duck but was actu...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • What The Fox Learnt: Four Fables from Aesop
  • The Twelve Dancing Princesses
  • Hansel and Gretel
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • قصه‌های من و بابام / شوخی‌ها و مهربانی‌ها
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • When Cows Fly
  • Thumbelina
  • حسنی نگو یه دسته گل
  • The Elves and the Shoemaker
  • The Princess and the Pea
  • Jack and the Beanstalk
  • I'm Just Like You (Cougar Cub Tales)
  • خروس زری پیرهن پری
  • Kermit the Hermit
  • A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk: A Forest of Poems
  • اولدوز و عروسک سخنگو
  • Hansel and Gretel
Hans Christian Andersen (Danish: [ˈhanˀs ˈkʁæsdjan ˈɑnɐsn̩]; often referred to in Scandinavia as H. C. Andersen; April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875) was a Danish author and poet. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, Andersen is best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen's popularity is not limited to children; his stories—called eventyr, or "fairy-tales"—express them...more
More about Hans Christian Andersen...
The Complete Fairy Tales The Little Match Girl The Little Mermaid The Emperor's New Clothes The Snow Queen

Share This Book

“His own image; no longer a dark, gray bird, ugly and disagreeable to look at, but a graceful and beautiful swan. To be born in a duck's nest, in a farmyard, is of no consequence to a bird, if it is hatched from a swan's egg.” 34 likes
“I never dreamed of such happiness as this, while I was an ugly duckling.” 4 likes
More quotes…