The Ugly Duckling
The Ugly Duckling, by Ian Beck
The Ugly Duckling is a classic fairy tale and Ian Beck does a good job of retelling it for young children, with sweet illustrations and expressive characters. The seventh little duckling in the nest realises he is different right from the start, saying "Honk" when his siblings say "Quack". A chance meeting with some swans flying south for the winter teaches him the true meaning of his "ugly" appearance, and the book ends on the expected high note when he learns he's not a duck after all, but a beautiful swan. One of the simplest morals of all -- that we should celebrate our differences -- illustrated in a lovely, easily accessible way for children of all ages to enjoy. Especially good for toddlers who are just starting to notice how other people are different.