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The Ugly Duckling [Anglais] [Relié]

Hans Christian Andersen , Stephen Mitchell , Steve Johnson , Lou Fancher

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Amazon.com: 4.7 étoiles sur 5  3 commentaires
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A delightful version of the Hans Christian Andersen classic 22 décembre 2009
Par Steven A. Peterson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat authentifié par Amazon
Another version of "The Ugly Duckling"? Do we really need that? My view is that this richly illustrated version is a work that carves its own niche. Children, I think, will enjoy this greatly.

Stephen Mitchell has "retold" the story, with what I think of as lush illustrations by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. The book itself is lovely to look at.

The story begins thus: "It was a glorious day in the countryside. Summer had come. . . ." There, a female duck was laying upon her eggs, waiting for them to hatch. Finally, six hatched, but a larger egg did not. The mother duck stayed on that egg until, somewhat later, it hatched. Of course, the seventh "duckling" did not look like the others and was made fun of. The first day was awful: "That's how the first day went, and afterwards it went from bad to worse. The duckling was attacked by everyone."

The story proceeds as the "ugly duckling" left the ducks who spurned it, running away. A series of adventures takes place, with the ugly one continuing to be insulted and set upon by others. One poignant moment occurred when the ugly duckling saw beautiful swans. ". . .the ugly little duckling felt a strange feeling as he watched them."

Then, of course, the happy ending when the ugly duckling looks into the water and comes to understand what he is.

In short, this is a fine version of this old tale. There are lessons for children to learn in the story, and this "retelling" does a nice job on that score. Have kids of the right age? This would be a nice gift to them. . . .
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Why another version? Because one was needed... 11 décembre 2009
Par Judy K. Polhemus - Publié sur Amazon.com
In a talk to a high school fine arts class, the local symphony conductor told a story about his neighbors. When their daughter came to babysit, he asked if her parents were going to the symphony performance. "Oh, they've already seen this one," she replied. He was surprised, he told the class, because each conductor and orchestra have a different take on the interpretation of the music. To prove his point, he played--via cassette tape-- three different versions of one movement from Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and discussed with the class those differences.

All this is background to the reason why someone would create another "version" of an established fairy tale. Dear Reader, this is a version of "The Ugly Duckling" you will want for your very own children, classroom, or library. It is gorgeous! Even better, the storyteller, Stephen Mitchell, has added elements not found in the original story by Han Christian Andersen. Illustrators Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher also show us a new way of seeing. Just as that conductor demonstrated with music, each writer and illustrator "sees" the story in a slightly different way. In this book that way is remarkably different.

The question is: Is this "Ugly Duckling" worthy enough for print? Walker Books (publishers) thought so in 2008 when they published this version. Let's examine it for ourselves.

1. The illustrations are simply eye-popping. Once you stuff those eyeballs back in their sockets, take a close look at the texture and patterns on every page, especially duckling's feathers. There are swirls and twists, criss-crosses that resemble a type of lace. Extraordinary! These two artists took patterns found elsewhere in both the natural and the man-made world and superimposed them on--well, on almost everything in the natural world. The first time I looked at the ugly duckling on the cover, I was grossed out. Ug, what in the world?, I actually said aloud right there in that bookstore. So I studied all those illustrations. Here are fish scales superimposed on the "duckling." The design of those white "weeds" whose little seed rods go poof into the air when they are ripe is superimposed on the little ducklings--the real ducklings. What is the point?

Just as fairy tales reflect the contents of our collective unconscious, this artwork reflects the art of the world in the broadest sense. For there is the pattern of rope--does it occur naturally?--and there is a pattern of chain mail used in war or even, simply, knitting. What is more organized than the pattern represented by knitting?

Even without my interpretation of the art, I do know that inquisitive children love to look all over the place in an illustration just to test their knowledge of things. It's Field Day here! That alone suffices in "explaining" the art.

2. The author also adds his take on events. This is my favorite example: It concerns mother duck, who is initially disappointed to find a huge egg that takes too long to hatch. Later, when neighbors in the barnyard say snitty things about her "ugly" child, she defends him: "He may not be pretty, but he has a very good heart. He's kind and considerate, and that's worth at least as much as good looks." There is a return to this theme at the end of the story for a wrap-around effect. I like that very much!

(I cannot help but look at all these illustrations as I turn the pages. How long did it take to create all these patterns then tediously draw each all over the place? I am filled with wonder and admiration.)

This is one of those books I found on the discount table at a local bookstore. Why in the world would THIS book be discounted? Anyway, I bought it with my own money with the idea of donating it to the library where I work. However, some books attach to my heart and make me keep them. "The Ugly Duckling" will now join my Olivia series and the Fabian and Hondo books, Mirrette and her high wire, among other books special to me. Yes, "The Ugly Duckling" is definitely worthy. But, certainly, I need to find a copy for the library!
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This is a very beautiful, touching rendition of "The Ugly Duckling!" 19 mai 2009
Par D. Fowler - Publié sur Amazon.com
The duck sat on her nest within sight of a lovely old farmhouse surrounded by a moat. She was beginning to get very impatient because she had been sitting on that nest for days, but suddenly the eggs began to crack and hatch. "Quack, quack!" Finally all of the eggs had hatched save one. An old duck clucked at it and told the mother duck it was nothing but an old turkey egg and when it hatched it was something to behold . . . and it was some ugly!

He had short, wide spaced wispy feathers. His skin had the delicate lace-like quality of an old-fashioned doily. He was indeed ugly and his mother stared at him and said, "what an awfully big duckling!" She got all the ducklings in the water, with the "ugly" one pulling up the rear. She decided he was hers because he could swim and even thought that he might be handsome after all. Later she began to feel love in her heart for him. The barnyard animals began to pick on him and say things like "what a monster he is!" He was finally driven away. He was a shunned being and how would he ever exist in this harsh world?

This was a very touching rendition of the "Ugly Duckling," one that a parent, caretaker or teacher will fall in love with as much as any child would. The beautiful, delicate artwork is extremely appealing and charming. This is one book that should grace the shelves of every library and one that should be tucked by a child's bedside to be read over and over again.
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