Cover Image: The Pugly Duckling

The Pugly Duckling

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Member Reviews

Ahh.  This story was really fun.  A pair of geese hatch a pug puppy, and the puppy named John just wants to be a beautiful swan.  But he will learn that it is always best to be yourself.  The word play is quite fun and would be a laugh riot at storytime.  The illustrations seem dated and amateurish, but they work.
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My grandchildren and I had high hopes for this book, as the Pugly Duckling looked so much like, Sherman, my daughters jug. We wanted to love this one, but it was just okay. First, my 8 year old grandson was upset that this dog hatched out of an egg. He knows that is not how they are born and he had a hard time enjoying the story because of that. Once that hurdle is over, we were able to just enjoy the story for what it was. Joe and Jean are ducks who really want a baby duckling, what they get is one Pugly Duckling, but they love and accept him anyway. He decides to wear a duck costume (actually a raincoat with a duck hood) so he will look more like a duck. The other animals are not happy that he is trying to be something he is not. He eventually realizes that you need to be yourself and be accepted for that. This has a warm, fuzzy message that my granddaughter really enjoyed. This is a retelling of the Ugly Duckling and I thought it was cute. The illustrations are absolutely adorable, cute, large and vibrant. The expressions on the pug are amazing. Learning about acceptance, being unique, being yourself and loving others no matter what are always great messages. I recommend this one, but for preschool or kindergarten students.
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This is very cute but has a major flaw. My Rating 3.25.

Jean and Joe Duck really want a child. They are thrilled when they finally have an egg to care for, even if it is an "ugly-wugly". And they are thrilled too when the egg hatches and produces their own pugly child. The problems come when the adorable pug tries to pretend to the other ducks that he is one of them. They are ready to accept him if he would stop pretending to be something he is not.

The story is a bit of a twist on the classic Ugly Duckling story. It is very cute and has wonderful rhyming that kids would surely like. I think the illustrations are adorable, like the cover. The story has a good message about being yourself and allowing others to accept you for the real you.

It was hard to give this only a 3.25 rating but I didn't feel right rounding up to 4.0. I wasn't thrilled with the repeated 'ugly" descriptions for the pug as that might give children the idea it is okay to call others "ugly" instead of finding kinder word choices. But the big flaw for me was that dogs don’t come from eggs. An adult understands this but it would have to be explained to children and, for me, that lessens the effectiveness of the story and message. Dressing up in a cute duck costume and trying to fit in with the ducks can be explained. But I think each parent/teacher who might share this book would have to think about how they would address the egg issue.

Source: 2020 NetGalley.
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I really enjoyed this book and thought that the story was brilliant!

It was well written and had some lovely illustrations and was a really fun read.

I read it with my three year old daughter and she loved it!

It is 5 stars from me for this one – very highly recommended!!
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This is such a sweet story about the importance of being true to yourself. It’s funny and a little emotional, striking just the right balance. The artwork is bright and fun. Great bedtime reading!
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I'll be honest, I had high hopes for this one. I mean, what a cute cover and concept. Unfortunately it fell a bit short for me. While I appreciate the message they were trying to convey that you'll be most accepted by being yourself, it felt more like Rudolph than fully wholesome. What I mean by that is that on its surface, Rudolph was beloved, but really it was only because he could do something for the others and this feels similar. One of the other things I'd like to point out is that I'm not a fan of how the rhyming text associates fat with bad and not fitting in and thin with good. As much as I'm sure the author didn't mean anything by it, it could make a child think that fat=bad/unacceptable and thin=good/loved. The messages we absorb as children can do so much more harm than you'd expect so it's important to be careful.
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A very weird retelling of the Ugly Duckling... I also do not understand why there was a need for retelling the story, when the original one works better.
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Cute! A story of accepting yourself for who you are no matter what other people think or say. A pug is perfect for this example.  They’re the sweetest creatures I’ve ever known. They love unconditionally and want to be with their humans and animal friends no matter what. Praise for pugs!
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This is a cute children's book about a little pug dog which comes out of an egg to be with a Mummy duck and 
a Daddy duck.  The ducks are surprised that a dog comes out of the egg, but they look after him and call him John.  He is not accepted by the other ducks until he does something brave to help them.  They then accept him and he teaches them how to be brave too.  The book has lovely graphics and it is funny, which children will love.

Many thanks to the author, publisher and negalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This book is so cute!  As you can see from the cover, its so ugly its cute.  I like the theme of being true to yourself, but the ducklings were kind of mean to the pugly duckling.  It's realistic though, no one can be meaner/more honest than a kid.  

Only quibble, dogs don't hatch from eggs, so that might not work for younger kids who may take that part literally.  Some potty humor, literally, with a duckling and a fire hydrant.  I found that to be funny.

This was cute and I pointed my Boss in its direction to see what she thinks of it.  Good moral about being true to yourself.  3 solid stars.  

My thanks to NetGalley and Indigo River Publishing for an eARC copy of this book to read and review.
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An adorable take on the Ugly Duckling.  Simple rhyming text and gorgeous illustrations make this a great book to add to any kids' collection.
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The fuzzy-wuzzy, cuddly-wuddly darling is here... But it's not what the parent ducks Jean and Joe expected. 

The wrinkly, brown, tall pug John was born. He was different, and it made him sad!

Even though everyone around him was supportive of him being what he truly is, a cute, little, huggable pug, he was still trying to fit in and be a swan. 

The story sends a message: Always be yourself, don't be ashamed of who you are, accept yourself, flaws and all, and everyone will accept you. Pretending will get you nowhere! 

''Dear John,'' they said, ''Just be you, If you love yourself, then others will too.''

Needles to say, the illustrations are beautiful, colourful, vibrant and silly!

Tear-evoking and inspiring, it's a beautiful classic tale, in brand new attire, perfect for the new generation.
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A cute book about the love of family no matter where you come from, or the differences you bring to the family. You are loved.  Great for foster family’s or adopted children. Also good for teachers to read in larger cites where there is a lot of diversity.
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A cute new spin on the ugly duckling. I liked this because it showed no matter what you are who you are, be true to that and there will always be someone to accept you. Great for ECE classroom
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A sweet, gentle story with an adorable protagonist. My girls enjoyed this story and asked for it again. However, as a parent I wished there had been a solid choice between free verse or a repeating rhyming pattern; switching between the two made the story flow a little less and I think they were less engaged for it. That being said, we were rooting for John!
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This was a cute rhyming tale about John, an ugly pug(ly). It’s rhymes don’t quite rival the success of  The Wonky Donkey’s, but it’s still a fun romp through language land. John’s parents were swans, so imagine their surprise when he hatched and looked quite different. Of course parents love their children no matter what and John’s parents loved him. The other ducklings teased and ostracized John until he was given a chance to prove that he was a good friend and he was needed just as he was.

Kids will enjoy the goofy improbability of this story. Boys, especially, will enjoy that story includes John lifting his leg to pee and ripping the seat of the mailman’s pants. 

I received an arc copy from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
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As someone who works with children, I just had to read this book to my class to hear their opinions. Children are the toughest critics and here is their review... They loved the book! It made them laugh, sad when John was sad, and mad when the other ducks were mean to the main pug. It was such an easy read and for all ages. I thought it would be too “kiddy” for my 3rd through 5th graders but they absolutely loved it! 

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for letting us read this amazing book in advance!
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"The Pugly Duckling", by Carla Siravo is a cute children's book about loving yourself the way you are. 
Jean and Joe Duck have everything they want and need, except for a baby duckling. One day their dream comes true, but instead of a baby duckling hatching from their egg, a baby pug appears. They love their baby the way he is, but the baby pug dreams of becoming a swan one day, and struggles with the fact that he needs to accept and love himself the way he is before others can love him also. 

The illustrations are very cute and the majority of the book is written in rhyme, which makes it appealing to young children and helps with literacy. The message is also clearly presented for young children to understand. My little one who is approaching preschool age loved it, and wants to hear it on a loop. My only qualm with it is the fact that the dog hatches from an egg, which is something that is confusing for little ones. Thank you to NetGalley and  Indigo River Publishing for the free e-arc in exchange for my honest review.
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An adorable and sweet story of a pug born to a duck family. 
My 4 1/2 year old thought it was quite silly and lovely and we read it multiple times.
It's simple, colorful, and fun.
Recommended for families with toddlers looking for an easy read about loving who you are, accepting people for who they are, and knowing you are loved.
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Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.   

My kids and I LOVED this book.   Seriously, how adorable is that cover?
The illustrations are adorable.  The storyline is great.


I'll definitely be looking out for other work by this author.
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