In a little nest, some eggs begin to crack open. 1, 2, 3 little ducklings emerge and with a bang, one dinosaur duckling crashes out. Little Dino Duckling worries that he is different to the others, but Mama Duck is full of wise words to reassure him. In this feathered family Dino Duckling learns all the important things that a duck should do – swimming, sharing and caring, and that being different is okay. Sadly, not everyone appreciates Dino Duckling’s differences, but Mama Duck is always there to remind him that everyone belongs in this family.
But one autumn day the ducks begin fly south, and Dino Duckling simply cannot fly, however hard he tries. Left alone, he begins to believe that being different really is a problem, until three little ducklings and his Mama reappear. The solution, Mama says, lies in being a family and facing challenges together. Dino Duckling does travel south with his family, albeit in an alternative fashion.
Alison Murray’s beautiful retelling of The Ugly Duckling shows how skills learned in a family are universal, whether you are a dinosaur and/or a duckling. Her art is full of generous, soft colours and large characters in simplified forms – beautiful and kind to look at, just like the reassuring voice of Mama Duck. She helps Dino Duckling see value in how he fits into the family and that if differences are there, we accept them, with an open heart.