Tuesday 14 January 2014

Ladybird Tuesday - The Ugly Duckling

As well as the books in the Ladybird reading scheme, I also have fond memories of the books in the Ladybird series that told familiar nursery rhymes and stories. The Ugly Duckling is part of the Well Loved Tales, Series 606D. It is one of the most recently published books in the series, published in 1979.

Ladybird Well Loved Tales - The Ugly Duckling

The language of the book is both interesting enough for an adult to read to a child over and over, yet simple enough for young readers to read to themselves. It's quite a long story, and a lot happens to the little ugly duckling before he becomes a swan.

Ladybird Well Loved Tales - The Ugly Duckling

The illustrations are as charming as ever, and often drawn from the duckling's own point of view as he looks up at the things around him. You can't help but feel sorry for the poor old ugly duckling after all that he goes through in the story, moving around from place to place and always being rejected.

Ladybird Well Loved Tales - The Ugly Duckling

Of course the story has a happy ending. I'm not too sure about the message behind the story though. While on the hand it teaches a message of looking beyond what you see on the outside, and not judging a book by its cover, the ugly duckling is only happy and accepted once he has turned into a beautiful swan. It's still a lovely story though, and one that I'll be sharing with my children.

If you love Ladybird books, do pop over and visit Ladybird Tuesday, where Being Mrs C is assembling a really comprehensive catalogue of Ladybird books and reviews.

Below you can find links to all my Ladybird Tuesday book posts.

Snow White and Rose Red
Hansel and Gretel
Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
The Three Little Pigs
The Old Woman and her Pig
Little Red Riding Hood
The Ugly Duckling
The Railway Children
A Little Princess
A First book of Aesop's Fables

A Ladybird Book about Knitting
More Things to Make - For Special Occasions
Easy to Make Puppets
Learning to Sew
Stamp Collecting
Tricks and Magic

Prehistoric Animals and Fossils
Stone Age Man in Britain
Great Civilisations - Crete
Charles Dickens
Lives of the Great Composers Book 1
Lives of the Great Composers Book 2
The Story of Music

Plants and How They Grow
The Ladybird Book of the Night Sky
Sea and Air Mammals
The Farm

The Story of Nuclear Power
The Motor Car
How it Works - The Computer
How it Works - The Rocket
The Story of Ships
The Postman and the Postal Service
People at Work - The Nurse

Understanding Numbers
Talkabout Clothes
Going to School
Teaching Reading

Stories of Special Days and Customs
Christmas Customs

Girls and Boys - A Ladybird Book of Childhood


  1. OOh i had that when I was little- brings back memories! :)

    1. Isn't it amazing how the Ladybird books are so engrained in childhood, that's what I love about them

  2. I loved the Ugly Duckling story as a child, I still do. It gives so much faith in life doesn't it?

  3. We were reading a modern version of this tale only the other night at bedtime and you are right, I am not so sure about the message but it is a classic tale.

    1. I didn't really think about it when I was little, but it is a bit of a mixed message in the story

  4. We were watching a repeat of the Ugly Duckling ballet on CBeebies the other day, I must dig out my old copy of this book to show Roo and Tigger

    1. I didn't watch the ballet on CBeebies, I should look out for it so that we can watch it after we read the book

  5. I remember that book too - shows how good they are.

  6. We still have some fantastic old Ladybird books here - including the Baby My First Words one which is so old and battered I am somewhat scared to open it now in case it falls apart...loveloy memories. xx

    1. That's one of the oldest ones I think! Some of mine are pretty battered, they've been read so many times which is wonderful

  7. I'm another one that remember those books - I've got the "there once was an ugly ducking" song in my head now - I think we may have had it on vinyl

    1. Me too, when I was writing the post I had to Google it to find the lyrics and a version of the video!

  8. Not only did I used to have that one but I still do and I read it to Ozzy! Great choice!

    1. That's lovely, I share them with my little ones too, they are just the right length for young children and timeless

  9. I really must join in this linky, I have loads of vintage Ladybird books.

    1. Oh you should, unfortunately I'm nearing the end of my stash now so I'm not going to be able to go for many more weeks unless I go charity shop hunting!

  10. What a sweet book - and one that I don't actually have in my collection. LMC and I watched the CBeebies adaptation of this (complete with Mr Bloom!) just last week and she really enjoyed it - so maybe I should make a real effort to track this book down. Many thanks again for joining in with this week's Ladybird Tuesday :-)

  11. I hate the fact that I remember a lot of these!

  12. Oh goodness, I remember this one from when I was little, it was one of my favourites too. Thanks for bringing back some great memories :) xx


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