The Ugly Duckling – Justine Clarke

Last week I shared some beautiful bookish Christmas gift ideas for kids – books with a Christmas theme. Today’s book with pressie potential is the first of many I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks that are not actually about Christmas but are a little bigger, better or just different from your everyday reads. Gorgeous additions to any stocking! Read on…

Justine Clarke Ugly Duckling The Ugly Duckling by Frank Loesser, illustrated by Nathaniel Eckstrom with CD by Justine Clarke 
Scholastic Australia RRP:$24.99

I’ve written about Justine Clarke a few times on the blog, and this post about a beautiful fangirl moment remains one of my most popular posts! It’s safe to say that Justine is one of those children’s entertainers who holds a special spot in a lot of grown up’s hearts as well, which means the whole family will get a kick out of this latest book project.

The Ugly Duckling is a classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson about an awkward young duck who is bullied because he’s different, until he finds his true home and emerges as a graceful swan. It has messages around diversity, being true to yourself and generally finding your tribe that have resonated down the generations.

This version is a lovely collectible hardcover picture book, including lush illustrations and a sing-a-long CD of the text.  The song version, by Frank Loesser, is drawn from the 1950s film about Anderson’s life starring Danny Kaye – there’s a good chance you’ll remember it once you hear it!  In addition to being both catchy and quite moving, it assigns instruments to represent characters, giving little learners a chance to identify parts of the orchestra. It has all the benefits to literacy of any book/CD combination (learn the words as you listen and read!) with the added bonus of, well, Justine Clarke!! Your little ones will love it.

Another fun title by Justine Clarke is The Gobbledygook Is Eating A Book. Why not pair them up with a bow as a festive treat for early readers?

With thanks to Scholastic Australia for my review copy. All opinions are, as always, my own. 



3 comments for “The Ugly Duckling – Justine Clarke

  1. October 29, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    I’m also a fan of Justine’s. Thanks for getting the cogs turning re Christmas presents – it’s starting to creep up!

  2. October 20, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    I love Justine. I first saw her in Danny Deckchair, and then when I noticed her in Playschool a few years later (as a nanny then) I loved her even more. What a cute book. It’s hard for me to go past anything duck. I used to have the most massive duck collection you ever saw. Now then only ducks in the house are in my bath tub with my kid.

    • This Charming Mum
      October 22, 2014 at 10:53 am

      Yeah, I’m a big fan of her performances in non-kid related things too. The film Look Both Ways is a personal fave. But we also love her on Playschool!

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