The Ugly Duckling

by serenapotter

Sophia Wren is 6 now, and in first grade.

Every year, local elementary schools celebrate March being National Reading Month,

by allowing the children a day to dress as a storybook character.


Last year, being a Kindergarten parent, I had no notion of who dressed their children, or how characters were interpreted from fiction to reality.

At 5, Little Sophia Wren, wavered on her character, before deciding on Cookie, the Cat, from Cookie’s Week by Cindy Ward.

We were incredibly broke last year, but I still wanted to honor school spirit



so I threw together a pair of her black leggings,

a 50 cent black turtleneck from Walmart,

and used Black Kona Cotton, thread, and a little bit of old worn pink solid with scrap batting

to construct a knotted tail and ears with a headband.

She really wanted her face dolled up, so I used my black eyeliner to draw her a cat face and



I discovered that afternoon when I picked her up, that this day mostly meant a way to wear a Halloween costume to school


got a lot of love for our little homemade,

yet folksy creation.

Then we moved, and it turns out this new school does it too.

Today was that day,

and yesterday, a snow day, I asked Sophia what or who she wanted to dress as from a storybook.


She was torn between The Ugly Duckling, or The Ugly Duckling after Personal Transformation.

She decided on the after…..

white feathers and all.


I threw together a few things from her closet,

and then hit Walmart

and then hung out with the fabric glue for awhile.

I used some muslin and little bits of thread and really fell in love with

Color Sensational Vivids Lipcolor by Maybelline

Electric Orange


So in the end, I glued two sacks of white feathers using two glue pens to her turtle neck and a muslin construct of a tail

that I tacked to her leggings with thread.

She wore orange leggings and house shoes

and spare feathers were randomly stuck into her pony tail.

Her face makeup was more her desire than a necessity,

but her face was lovingly powered

and using mascara I coated her eyebrows

and then used lipstick to draw on her beak.


The Swan!

She left in love, we will see what happens at pick up this afternoon.