The Ugly Duckling – Hans Christian Andersen

The story of The Ugly Duckling was written by Hans Christian Andersen and was published for the first time in 1843 (download a free copy of The Ugly Duckling PDF by clicking the button down below).

Just like many of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, The Ugly Duckling teaches valuable life lessons – this one teaches us to celebrate our differences and embrace our unique qualities!

Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author and poet who has become very well known for his many other fairy tales including The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Pea, and The Snow Queen just to mention a few. His stories have inspired so many movies, TV series, and theatre productions it is hard to count!

The Ugly Duckling PDF (Free Download)

Title: The Ugly Duckling

Author: Hans Christian Andersen

Published: 1843

Pages: 10

Format: A4 PDF

The Ugly Ducking – PDF Download

Click on the button below to get your free copy of The Ugly Duckling story in PDF format. You can choose to save the storybook by right-clicking the button and selecting “Save As…”.

Is The Ugly Duckling PDF Free To Download?

Yes, it is! Hans Christian Andersen first published The Ugly Duckling in 1843 so it is in the public domain. You are therefore welcome to download the PDF and read it for free. We hope you enjoy it!

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Some Q&A’s About The Ugly Duckling Story

What Is The Moral Of The Ugly Duckling?

The Ugly Duckling story is one of those stories that is just as relevant today as it was when it was first published!

The moral of the story: Don’t judge anyone based on how they look no matter how different they are from you.

What Made The Ugly Duckling Ugly?

When The Ugly Duckling was born he was bigger than a normal duckling. He was also grey in color so his siblings and the other farm animals decided he was ugly.

A normal duckling which is considered beautiful
A Normal Duckling
A swan duckling which is thought to be ugly in the story
A Swan Duckling

What Does The Ugly Duckling Symbolize

Hans Christian Andersen used The Ugly Duckling as a symbol for people who are different. Interestingly, it is said that Hans Christian Andersen himself was a bit of an “ugly duckling” so he may very well have modeled the story after his own experiences.

Andersen himself was a tall, ugly boy with a big nose and big feet, and when he grew up with a beautiful singing voice and a passion for the theater he was cruelly teased and mocked by other children

Anne Chisholm | Biographer and Journalist

The Ugly Duckling Movies and Adaptations

The Ugly Duckling has been the inspiration for many adaptations over the years. In 1939, Walt Disney created a version in its Silly Symphony series that is just as cute today as it was then!

The Ugly Duckling | Walt Disney Silly Symphony (1939)


The Ugly Duckling is a timeless story that teaches that we should never judge someone by their appearance. It was written by Hans Christian Andersen, and it is said that the story was modeled after his own life. Download a free copy of The Ugly Duckling PDF here.

Want more? Check out our other classic English kid’s stories that you can also download or read online!

Next: The Little Mermaid – Hans Christian Andersen

Looking For More Bedtime Stories And Fairy Tales?

The Three Little Pigs
Little Red Riding Hood
Hansel And Gretel
Goldilocks And The Three Bears
The Sleeping Beauty
Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs
Beatrix Potter Book Collection
Fairy Tales Collection

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