The ultimate ugly duckling is wonderfully accepted within his family.
“Even as an egg, Dino Duckling was different.” And as the days pass, the differences only get more pronounced between the three yellow ducklings and the growing T. Rex. But as Mama Duck says, “Big and wide, / sleek and slim, / we’re a family / and we all fit in.” She makes sure she teaches all her children how to swim, fish, and share and also how to celebrate their differences: the three ducklings slide down Dino Duckling’s curved back into the water. But the author is careful to point out that “Sometimes different was…difficult.” Dino Duckling treads on the otters and upsets the floating swans with the waves he makes. But when the time comes to fly south for the winter, will their differences separate them? Of course not! “Fly or not, / it’s all okay. / We’re a family, / so we’ll find a way.” Murray’s message is a soothing one; what family doesn’t include members who feel different—more or less talented or academically inclined, skin a shade darker or lighter, unique hair color, different culture or racial background, differently abled, adopted, steps, etc.? The screen-printed and digital cartoon illustrations play up Dino Duckling’s massive size and its consequences. Simple eyes and mouths, combined with great body language, convey every emotion.
Reassurance for the Dino Duckling in every family. (Picture book. 4-8)