The interactive book: The Ugly Duckling – Where To? – Education Towards Tolerance*, in English and in Hebrew, printed and digital, suggests a different interpretation than the common one of H.  C.  Andersen’s most touching story: The Ugly Duckling which was written in 1843. It aims at developing critical thinking among its readers (from 9 years old to 90 +) and at combatting racism by revealing the discriminatory basic concept that stands behind Andersen’s tale

White = beautiful opposite Dark grey = Ugly

The Ugly Duckling expresses this view towards the end of the story: …” From a thicket close by came three beautiful white swans” …, he is eager to approach the “royal” birds but hesitates. He looks at his reflection mirrored in the water: “But what did he see in the clear stream below? His own image; no longer a dark, grey bird, ugly and disagreeable to look at, but a graceful and beautiful swan

Andersen’s tale is translated into 65 languages. Unintentionally, parents and educators that introduce young children to this tale, teach them a prejudiced lesson that is hard to change or to delete in later years

The readers of The Ugly Duckling – Where To? are invited to carefully examine Andersen’s original story and to invent/choose a happy ending that is consistent with the democratic and the humanist values of our time. They are equipped with a picturesque Ladder Test and a Circle Test that makes it easier for them to distinguish between a closed social system’s solution to an open democratic one

I deeply hope that the book will help “….to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man…” (Amanda Gorman’s poem) and will serve as a tool for both parents and educators in education towards tolerance


The book is available at  in printed and digital formats in English as well as in Hebrew and is recommended to 3rd -5th grades

*The booklet is an outcome of the academic essay

IsraeliL. (2011). "The Other - a Resource or a Threat? Polar interpretations of two children’s stories: The Ugly Duckling by H"C Anderson & Raspberry Juice by H’ Shenav" (Journal of Peace Education, Vol. 8, No.1, p.1-17)