"What does it matter where one is born if one has been hatched from a swan's egg?" In realistically detailed and lushly textured colored pencil and watercolors of animals with just a hint of human expression, Bernadette Watts illustrates Hans Christian Andersen's most famous tale—the one he himself deemed his autobiography. Hatching in a duck's nest, reluctantly accepted at first but then ostracized, an ungainly young bird thinks himself to be merely an ugly duck until he grows up to become the most beautiful of waterfowl. Watts's adaptation, for youngsters up to 7, retains more of Andersen's story than most, including a stay in a cottage with a cat and hen, while avoiding such scenes as the wild ducks being shot by hunters.
"Watts's detailed double-page spreads are beautiful. The story has enduring appeal and there's space for many versions on our shelves."—Booklist