Picture Book Review: The Ugly Place

The Ugly Place by Laura Deal

The Ugly Place
by Laura Deal, Emma Pedersen (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

A boy is in an ugly mood, and he vents his anger by stomping in the tide pools and the mud at the beach. He sits on an ugly rock in the ugly rain and stares at the ugly fish. But gradually, he notices that the seagulls’ white feathers are not ugly as they glide effortless through the sky. He breathes slowly with the waves going in and out. He closes his eyes to feel the warmth of the sun as the clouds part. His ugly mood evaporates with the rain, and the beauty of the sea reminds him to smile.

I loved this sweet book! I remember feeling overwhelmed by my emotions and mood when I was little, and it can be really difficult to manage those feelings. What a relief to have an “ugly place” where you can stomp a little bit and then sit and think. The ugly place becomes the calm place.

I love these positive messages about managing your emotions and finding perspective in nature!

The illustrations are so fantastic! All the rocks and snails and fish have frowning faces and ugly expressions, and then little by little they transform into a joyous calm. Even the clouds are angry in the beginning! The art really shows the strength of these emotions. I love this art style, and the way the colors reflect the boy’s mood changes.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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